by Ken Rolheiser
Can we hear God calling  

You’ve heard the riddle: Can you tell me where God is? And the answer: Can you tell me any place where God is not? When we stop to think about, we should stop to think about it.

This morning, after many days of thirty-degree temperatures and drought, a gentle rain fell on the parched earth. I was amazed at how much green immediately returned to the grasses. In much the same way God’s gentle hand touches us and his life in us quickens.

“May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb.” (Deuteronomy 32:2). I am not surprised that this passage of scripture appeared in my search for God’s words today.

When things are going badly, we so readily convince ourselves that God isn’t really there for us. And even when things are great, we don’t always attribute it to God. Too often we try to take the credit. That’s just our human nature.

God speaks to us frequently, but it often seems that only the saints have learned to listen. Yet God continues to try to tell us something in several ways. First, God speaks to us through the circumstances of our lives. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we may pick up messages from our friends, family members, scripture or even our consciences.

Sometimes God highlights a bible passage for us. Daily scripture readings make this a reality. The words of a passage may speak to us if we are making the effort to be present to God in this way. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27). 

And how wonderful it is when this happens. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11).

God speaks to us through the circumstances of our lives. Why did I stop as I was backing out of my driveway? There was a car coming and I had not seen it as I looked both ways in my usual way. I thanked God because I really didn’t need a smash up that day.

And God speaks to us on particular days and through particular events. A passage in my morning readings last week struck me. I marked it for later reflection. It begins, “You are already trying to listen to Jesus today – that’s why you you’re reading this reflection.” And it goes on to explain that everyone has misconceptions about Jesus that God wants to clear up.

Perhaps God failed to answer a prayer for us. Maybe we see Jesus as too distant from us. Maybe we just don’t see God’s hand in the ordinary events of our daily lives. Nothing is farther from the truth!

Without God’s hand we would not have breath or life. The world would crumble without the power of God sustaining it. Not only did God create this world, but he sent Jesus to enable us to come closer to his love and care for us.

And God’s invitation to us remains an open invitation: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelations 3:20)

(573 words)