Saturday morning. Cartoons playing in the background, Jill sits at the kitchen table with her scissors and coupon file. Her children surround her with their chatter as they have their breakfast. Her middle child stops mid bite and leans towards her cereal bowl. With eyes full of wonder, she exclaims, “Mommy, my cereal is talking to me!”
Her brothers immediately follow suit and listen intently to their own bowls. Jill smiles at the concentration mirrored on her children’s faces as they try to catch what is being said to them.
“What is it saying?”
The oldest, Toby, meets her question with a look of disappointment. “Just sounds like ‘snap, crackle, pop’ to me. I don’t here anything else.”
With great drama, Lily sits up and places her hands on her hips and says, “Well you’re just not listening very well. Mine is telling me to have a great day.” She turns to her younger brother, “You hear something, don’t you?”
Kade’s eyes light up and his lips curve into an impish grin. “Sure do. My cereal told me that my sister has stinky feet.” He immediately starts laughing at his own joke.
“MOMMY!” squeals Lily, “make him say he’s sorry.”
“Now, Kade, I’m sure your cereal did not say that it. Listen harder and see if it might tell you something nice.”
As they all lean in to take another listen, Jill thinks about how their intense listening reminds her of the Sunday School lesson from the a couple of weeks ago. Her class was discussing how to listen for the message of God in the things around them. Suddenly it becomes a teachable moment.
“Hey, you know how hard you are trying to hear the cereal talk? It’s kind of like a whisper, isn’t it?”
They all look up and nod. Toby notices the spark in his mom’s eyes and knows some kind of lesson is coming. He sits up a little straighter wondering where she will go with this one. His wait is not long.
“God speaks to up in these little sounds around us too. Sometimes in the slight stirring of the breeze, the rustle of leaves, the spatter of rain, the snap of a twig. With these small sounds, he may be trying to whisper something to our heart. We can only hear that message if we focus, just like you were doing with your cereal.
With brows furrowed, Lily asks, “So when the wind blows, God is trying to talk to us?”
“Yes, sweetie. He might be. He talks to us in a variety of ways. The question is whether we are listening to him. And if we are, how intently are we trying to figure out what He is saying to us.
Kade speaks up again. “So we need to hush sometimes and let God do the talking.”
“That’s one way to put it. But you are not wrong. SO why don’t we clean this up so we
can go sit out on the porch for awhile and see what we might hear in the backyard. Maybe God has a plan for us today that we have not considered. Who wants to join me?”
Three eager hands shoot up as they hurry to finish their breakfast and clean up the table before heading to their favorite spot on Saturday morning- the back porch swing. Another hand comes around the corner, as Ned joins Jill in the kitchen as she puts the last of the dishes away. “Can I come listen with you?”
“Of course you can,” replies Jill with a smile. “Maybe God will offer some advice for you this morning. “Let’s go see what the sounds of nature bring to our hearts this morning.”
Hand in hand they join their children in their family devotional time. This morning focusing not on the written words of God, but listening for the whisper of God within their hearts.
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