Our selection from 1st Kings this weekend about the prophet Elijah is a favorite of mine. The Jewish king had married a pagan, Jezebel. Elijah was fighting her efforts to get the Jews to worship her god, Baal, so Jezebel was searching for him to have him killed. Elijah escaped and was hiding in a cave on the mountain where Moses had received the 10 commandments. He was told to go outside the cave to meet the Lord, who would be passing by. Elijah thought he would find the Lord in a strong wind that was crushing rocks, but the Lord was not there. Neither was the Lord in an earthquake nor a raging fire. Where did he find the Lord? “In a tiny whispering sound.”
My friends, it is our human nature to be drawn to big, unusual, exciting things, and so, like Elijah, we can presume that that is where we will find God. And maybe sometimes we will, like in a powerful storm or an extraordinarily kind deed that someone does. But
normally, God comes to us in the tiny whispering sounds of daily life: in the quiet time we spend sharing coffee with God in the morning; in the few moments we stop to talk with a beggar on the street, reaffirming their dignity; in our patience with a cranky family member or a difficult coworker; in the 2 minutes of silence we observe at Pius after communion to reflect on the question, “What is God calling me to today?” These are the kinds of times when God comes to us most often.
But, that means we need to be paying attention, listening, looking for God’s presence in the “quiet, whispering sound,” since there will not be a loud, clashing symbol to get our attention! There are two specifics that will help us: the first is spending quiet time each day, speaking with the Lord and then being quiet and listening. This is crucial. The second is to be attuned to what is happening around us, how it is moving or affecting us, asking ourselves what God might be saying to us.
Jesus promised that he would always be with us, that he would not leave us orphans. God will speak to us, if we are attuned and listening, but it will be with a quiet, whispering sound, not a clashing symbol.
Church sign of the week: Change your perception of what a miracle is and you’ll see them all around you.