Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Conversation (face to face) (10/07/10)
TITLE: Conversation in Silence
By Heidi Wallenborn
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Like Samuel of the Old Testament, God first spoke to me when I was a child.
As far as this 49-year-old memory can reach backward, I recall being aware of conversations I had with God, and listening for His response from toddler age on.
Funny thing is, no one ever told me about Him. I just knew Him. We were formally introduced through vacation Bible school when I was eight.
Lying on my back cradled in a bed of warm, green grass, I looked at the azure sky with cotton ball clouds floating by, and imagined they were puff balls set off by God’s footsteps. In the thunder, I heard angels bowling; the lightning was God taking my picture.
Although I wouldn’t claim to have spoken with God face-to-face like Moses and Abraham, there are times in my life when His Presence is that tangible and near to me that I swear if I opened my eyes I’d see His face.
God talks to me in things I know. I believe that’s how He made each one of His children. He fashioned us to hear Him in specific ways. Mine is through nature.
Perhaps my theme song is Lover of My Soul, sung by Amy Grant: “When I see the winter turning into spring, it speaks to this heart of mine more than anything,” “When the sun comes up slowly with the dawn, oh this is the kind of feeling that I hang my hope upon. There is love and beauty in all that I see, and no one, nobody is explaining You to me,” “Maybe my eyes can’t see that You are surrounding me here in the wind and rain, the things that I know...I know the Voice I know the touch, Lover of my soul.”
There are times I’ve turned my back on God’s conversation to me. Overwhelmed by tragedies, sometimes just too busy, and a long period of time when I was confused about what my faith was all about anyway were all things that closed my ears. Troubles and programs and jobs were bony fingers under my chin, relentlessly turning my face away.
Recently I spent the better part of three weeks in near solitude. I was desperate to have conversation with God again, not just one-sided this time with me doing all the chatting then walking away before His response.
I spent a lot of time in silence. I took a stack of music to listen to, but didn’t. I didn’t call anyone except my husband once a day. I stared at the Southern Pacific Ocean. I read my Bible. I wrote down my thoughts. I prayed. I walked. I listened.
God spoke. His Presence is what I craved, what I needed a good dose of. He showed me lessons in nature around me. Sometimes He just showed off His creation...whales breaching offshore, and sultry tropical spring flora-scented air. In all these things, I heard His Voice.
The writer of Psalm 42 penned verse2, “My soul thirsts for God, for the Living God. Where can I go and meet with God?” I believe the result of yearning for God’s presence and conversation is this: the first part of verse 7, “Deep calls to deep.” What that means to me is the deep in me calls to the deep of God. I won’t be satisfied with anything less than profound, meaningful conversation with God, not at Him, and sometimes in silence.
The challenge for me is to maintain a simple, childlike heart that responds as little Samuel did after God called his name in I Samuel 3:10, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
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