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Why are we whispering?

January 19, 2018


It was an early August morning. The Sun was already peeking through the blinds when my alarm went off, wrenching me from deep sleep. I looked over at my husband sleeping next to me, a little envious. But I had decided to wake up before the kids to pray, and even though it was tempting snuggle back under the duvet, I shuffled the pillows and sat up in bed.

As I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, and tried to engage my brain, two thoughts fell into my mind. (I say ‘fell’ because that’s what it felt like.) Even in my half conscious state, I knew that God had put them there.

The two thoughts were this: I must read the story of Elijah meeting God in a whisper... and I must remember how my son tells me he loves me.

Now I was awake.

If you’re not familiar with the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 19, it’s well worth a read. Elijah is running for his life, exhausted and afraid, hiding in a mountain cave. In this place of fear and desperation God tells Elijah He’s going to pass by.

As Elijah waits he hears a wind powerful enough to shatter rocks, then an earthquake followed by fire, but God was not there. When it all dies down Elijah hears a gentle whisper...

That’s the moment he recognises God’s voice.
That’s when Elijah realised the Creator of the universe was present in a special way.

I’ve read that story many times, and I’ve sometimes wondered what was wrong with the wind, earthquake and fire. Why couldn’t God show up in those? They’re pretty dramatic displays of power.

It wasn’t till that morning that God showed me the beauty of a whisper...

Last summer, when my four year old son wanted to tell me that he loved me, he would say he had something to whisper in my ear.

He did this dozens of times. Every time he asked me to bend down, I knew what was coming, but I relished every whisper just the same.

The intimacy, the joy in his eyes, and the moment I could turn my head and whisper back, “I love you too“, was absolutely precious.

So here I was, with two images, a desperate man waiting for God and finding him in a whisper...
And my son choosing a whisper so he could draw me close to tell me how much he loved me.

I was completely floored.

I spent the first half of 2017 trying very hard to listen more attentively to God. He asked me to, I needed to, so I’d been trying very hard to... but, with little success.

Over halfway through the year, on a sunny August morning, through Elijah and my son, I felt Him invite me to stop trying.
Stop straining.
Stop worrying.

Instead He invited me
to rest,
be quiet,
and wait for Him
to show up,
in an intimate, loving whisper.

This was the beginning of my plunge into silence and stillness. This is the journey I’m going to share with you here… 



Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

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