Sunday, August 30, 2015

Speak Lord

I feel, for the sake of those who might be alarmed or concerned, that I must preface this post by saying that the word pictures I am using below are metaphors, nothing more. This is a sort of spiritual allegory, not to be taken literally.


For months, even years I have been traveling to the edge of the precipice where I stand today. I hear that Voice - it calls me to something, I know not what. 

I have struggled to stay in the familiar, and every time I do, I am trampled upon, bruised, misunderstood, overlooked, and accused; there is always something that is not "good enough" or not "holy enough" in my life. The voices of those who condemn me are many. They join together in a cacophony. I cover my ears and try to hear that whisper that they drown out.  I try to tune out the shoulds and the musts, and listen to the Voice of the Galilean.

I hear no such condemnation from this Voice. It calls me - speaks softly and gently to me - and it is full of love, compassion, and acceptance. The One who ate with (and in eating with, He accepted totally) the tax-collector, the prostitute and the riff-raff of society does not condemn; He does not call for marches or placards or politics. He is quiet and lowly in heart. 

He calls me; it has been His Voice I have heard since the time I was very young and could almost hear the wind calling my name. It was those religious automatons who bound my hands and feet, those who gagged me and covered my eyes to "protect" me, led me astray in all of their self-righteous babble about duty and obligation, debts to pay that could never be paid, and "standing for righteousness."  

The Voice doesn't say those things. In those almost imperceptible whispers I hear encouragement, empathy, empowerment. Those whispers have called me to the edge of the cliff - that cliff I stayed so studiously away from, thinking it would lead to my downfall. I wanted to be safe - safe is good, right?  

Photo "Silhouette Of A Man On The Rock At Sunset"
courtesy of satit_srihin at
No. No, not necessarily. Like Samuel hearing the Voice in the night, I have run to those who I thought could interpret it - only to find that it had been so long since they heard it themselves that they didn't recognize it. Finally, the old man Eli's words come back to me - on the third occasion he told Samuel to say, "Speak, Lord; I'm listening." What a novel idea. Don't wait for someone else to interpret it; just ask Him to speak ... since the message is for me and for me alone. He has something important to say.

Well .. here I am.  I'm at the edge of this cliff, somewhere I never in a hundred years thought I would be. I look over the edge and I see no safety net, no structure, nothing familiar - just empty space and that inner urging to listen. 

"I'm listening." 

Silence. just ... silence as the wind whistles, as the people as small as ants make their way, doing everyday things, going on about their lives as if nothing was happening. But something is. Something is. 

"Speak Lord."  Not a command one would give to a dog, but a plea from the heart. It's the kind of desperation Moses had when he said, "If You're not going with me, I'm not going anywhere."  Only in the Presence, in the shekinah, is there any kind of answer to that burning desire. 

"I'm scared." I've never done anything this radical before, and I've done some pretty radical things. I have no clue what's ahead. The view from the precipice is dizzying, unnerving. It is breathtakingly beautiful, but I have always been told that it is so dangerous to come here, away from them, away from the others whose collective voices drown out the One Voice while all the time they claim to speak for Him. I only want to hear His Voice now.

From the stillness that envelops me, I hear one very simple, very radical word. "Jump." 

Wha-at? I shout inside, That's crazy!  And I hear nothing but silence. 

And the wind. I hear the wind call my name as it did when I was a child. Can it really be that simple? to close my eyes and just feel His arms around me? To let Him love me? to believe that He really is THAT good? that He would catch me? 

And then I hear it again. 


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