Posts tagged hearing God
The Deaf Shall Hear

In those days the word of the LORD was rare… 

Then the LORD called Samuel.

 Again the LORD called, “Samuel!”

 A third time the Lord called,"Samuel!” 

The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”

I Samuel 3v1,4,6,8,10

Samuel’s first hint at hearing God’s voice was a call. A beckoning. An invitation to come close and listen.

But he didn’t know that at the time. He heard something but he didn’t know who was calling let alone what he was saying. And so he answered with the simple wisdom of a child,

Here I am.

When the same confusing urging called again, Samuel repeated the only response he could think of:

Here I am.

Again and again. Simple words of acceptance, of availability, of acknowledgement.

Here I am.

When Moses first heard that urgent calling, “Moses! Moses!” he responded the same way:

Here I am.

Isaiah said the same words when He heard God calling, searching for someone who would be willing to do His bidding:

Here I am.

For those of us who are learning to listen to the Voice of God in our lives, the first words we hear sound like an invitation. With Samuel and Moses and Isaiah, we sense a strange stirring, a beckoning  to come close.

Our hearts yearn to know and be known by Someone whose love we cannot possibly grasp, but whose Voice we long to hear.

There comes an alertness to something more, to something we need, to something we are willing to go after if only we can learn how.

In the early mornings as I light sweet smelling candles and arrange my tea on the table beside my chair, I tune my silent ears to that Voice.

Here I am, Lord.

I stand shivering before the heater, wrapped in the warmth of a shawl, my mind slowly untangling as my heart hears… something. Someone.

Here I am, Lord, here I am.

Often, the first words I sense are my name. Just as God called Moses, and little Samuel, and the great Isaiah, by name…

He whispers my name, and yours.

Di, come close. Listen.

And sometimes it’s just a feeling. A sensing in my slowly awakening spirit. A pulling of my heart that draws me into His presence.

Here I am— Lord, I’m here!

I curl into the corner of my big chair, open the only Word we know without doubt is His— that Word that is sharp enough to discern what I cannot.

And He pulls me into His heart as I read the stories, as I imagine Moses all alone, little Samuel longing for his mom, Isaiah, so afraid of what he cannot understand.

I read and I listen.

I pause to stare out the window, to sip tea, to ponder.

More than any other way, I am convinced that He speaks in and through and with His written Word. A poet/writer paints a picture of a-

“thin place through which the presence of God breaks into this world and bursts with unpredictable consequences into our lives.”

The Fire of the Word, Chris Webb

Yes! Yes!

I have seen that thin place— sensed His presence, His speaking in these Scriptures. I have entered in to see and know and feel and hear Him in the depths of holy silence that encases this Book.

Are you there yet? Being pulled into a place of listening? Sensing somewhere in your soul that Someone is calling you into intimacy?This is His invitation to come. To settle in with the Scriptures open, to read with ears wide open.

That stirring you sense is a beckoning to lean in and listen— not for solutions so much as for Him.

I am here, Lord! Speak, please speak! Your servant is listening.

From that quiet place where even the deaf can hear,


P.S. Are you hearing His beckoning in your spirit? Can you tell us what that sounds like for you? And if you’re longing to hear but can’t seem to— will you leave your name and I will pray? I’d love to take a whole list of you on my walk today.

[1] The Fire of the Word, Chris Webb

How I Hear

People often ask me what I hear in the quiet of my world. How does a woman who is deaf function in a world that cannot fathom soundlessness? When I tell them about the cochlear implant and that I hear via a tiny computer in my head, they want to know if I hear normal now. Or do everyday noises sound different?

I get good questions from good people who care, people who want to know so they can know me.

The truth is, I don’t remember what normal sounds like. Though I’m certain I do not hear what everyone else hears; I rarely get the punch line of jokes, though I automatically laugh with everyone else (why is that?).  The worship music our church is known for sounds more like a rhythmic clamoring of pots and pans than the beauty I’m sure must be coming to everyone else’s ears. I need help to interpret my 3-year-old grand girl’s cuteness. And I use my eyes to navigate my way in public places lest I miss something important.

The fact that I can hear at all astounds me every day. The gift of the cochlear implant is a miracle of epic proportions. When I “unplug” from the shear exhaustion of listening, I hear nothing. Nothing at all.

Listening to God is a lot like being a deaf woman who hears through a computer. We hear imperfectly, missing punch lines and often misunderstanding what we thought we heard Him say. Whenever I hear someone proclaim with astonishing confidence that they know that God told them they were on their way to success and riches, or they are sure they know what is wrong with someone struggling because God gave them a word… something inside me questions. Really?

What I hear in my spirit sounds different than promises of success or solutions to other people’s dilemmas.

Take this morning...

I got up early as I usually do, padded out to the kitchen to make my pot of tea, fed the dog, then made my way through the dark to my little cabin in the back. I stood in front of the heater, shivering and worrying about the fact that I’ve taken so much time away from my desk lately and all the things I really should be accomplishing and doing and planning and finishing…

Then heard that sweet shushing I have come to know as the Father’s way of reminding me to quiet those sounds of shame. To allow Him to lead me beside quiet waters where He waits to refresh my soul.

Ah, yes Lord! I’m coming.

Curling up in my big chair by the windows that overlook the woods, I pour my first cup of steaming tea.

Good morning, Father, here I am. Foolishly worried again, I confess the wrongness of my thinking. As if my own effort, that striving to work harder and longer and more… could accomplish anything of Kingdom value. I know better, yet here I am again.

I sense His presence as we talk, that quiet calm that settles somewhere deeper than my fretting, that sets me free from striving. Trust relaxes my tense shoulders as I breathe Him in.

I open my Bible to the place I’ve been reading all week, asking for His words, leaning in to listen— not for direction so much as for what I may be missing in my blundering obliviousness to His Spirit. The words on the page fairly hum with Him, my Lord and Lover. A reference of a phrase that catches my attention leads me off on a rabbit trail to Genesis, then I Samuel, back to Exodus.

“God remembered Noah…” (Genesis 8v1)

Hannah, “deeply troubled”, “pouring out my soul to the Lord”, begs God to remember her… (I Samuel 1)

“God heard their groaning and He remembered… God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.”(Exodus 2v25)

Concerned. God is concerned for His people.

My heart awakens. Excited now, I flip back and forth to every reference I can find. Why have I never noticed this?

I know God cares, but in this moment I know His care. He is concerned and His concern changes everything.

In the still dark morning, I worship.

God remembers

The Creator of this beautiful world is concerned…

In the midst of that moment of worship, I “hear” God’s concern for a woman I know and love. She’s one of those gracious women who would never, ever tell me that life is rough right now. I’m not sure she’s even capable of the whining and complaining that most of us weave into every day conversation. All I know is that her husband is laid up at home recovering from surgery and that her daughter is in the hospital with pneumonia.

I sense God asking me to show this friend His concern for her, to remind her that He remembers. And even though I know she knows… sometimes it’s hard to really know when exhaustion and worry muddle our minds and beeping machines drown out His voice.

In the midst of those moments of awe-filled wonder at who He is, the strangest thing happens inside of me— all my worries and stresses don’t matter anymore. My heart is filled with the delight of a task assigned to me by the God who remembers, who is concerned—who is asking me to show His concern to one of His hurting ones.

Now when I move to my desk to plan my day and the week ahead, instead of pressure, I feel energized.

Listening to God is an adventure of discovery. Of being led, of being the skin of God to someone who needs His touch.

I have time, plenty of time, for His plans for me. What was it that I was so uptight about?

What I hear in this quest to listen to God are real words that catch me up into real purpose— words that incite wonder and amazement, words that elicit a joy that overcomes my tendency to uptight, worry-filled fretting.

I’ve never once heard assurances that success waits right around the corner if only I’ll try harder and do more, set goals and make them happen. I’ve yet to hear grand prophesies or proclaimations.

In the quiet of listening, I hear what matters to God— and somehow He makes it matter to me.

From a heart still learning to listen and loving it,


P.S. I love to take your name with me as I walk through the woods and talk to the Father who remembers and is concerned for you. If you’d leave a message comments section, it would be my honor to pray with you and for you.

How To Hear God Though The Clamor Of Me.

On Faery Tears and Pity Parties…

 Just a few days ago I woke up from a cold and restless sleep, emerging from our tiny tent to find our camping gear drenched, skies leaden, and snow forecast for the High Sierras.

Our two week nostalgia tour wrecked.

The plan had been to road trip our way through the mountains, landing at Lake Alpine for an extended time.  From there we would hike and fish and I would spend time writing while tucked away from the craziness that had kept me from finishing work on a proposal long overdue.

As I heated water for my tea over the camp stove, I mumbled and groaned under my breath about everything going wrong that could go wrong.

Just two days before, the little device that enables me to hear (called a cochlear processor) had inexplicably quit working. In the middle of nowhere, so remote I couldn't find a town near enough to warrant a weather report on my IPhone, how would I get it fixed? What would I do? Must I submit to this turn of events that had, thrown me into involuntary silence?

I couldn’t hear the rain pouring on the tent, couldn’t tell if I was talking too loud or too soft because I couldn’t hear my own voice, couldn’t hear Phil. All I heard was just silence—

A silence that felt isolating, frustrating, and in truth, for a while sort of menacing.

Phil built a fire with the wood we’d stacked under the table the night before, trying to cheer us up with a campfire to warm our shivering selves. I huddled as close to the fire as I could get, a mug of tea in my hands, feeling cold, forlorn, and… forsaken.

That’s when the lie whispered insidiously in my soul:

You needed this time away… you’re tired… weakened… you needed refreshing and rest… and look at this—

God sure isn’t taking very good care of you… hiss, hiss, hiss.

 And the lie felt true.

Truer than anything else. All the work to get here, the long drive, the sadness that my parents no longer lived just twenty minutes down the mountain, that dad wouldn’t be there to rescue me…

 And God couldn’t keep one storm at bay after four years of drought? hiss hiss

I stayed in my self-pity styled funk as the sun broke through, flooding the world with a freshness that can only be seen in the aerie heights of the Northern Sierras.

Beauty sparkling like crystal ornaments on tall pines, dripping faery tears on my pity-party.

My soul responded with that leap of joy I have come to know as God drawing near just when I need Him.

I know better than to blame God when life doesn’t line up according to my wishes. Lessons learned from my long ago dance with despair over my encroaching deafness came flooding back. I heard words from the One who calls Himself The Word:

Don’t go there, Di. It is your dangerous place, beyond your power to crawl out of.

 For the rest of the day I pondered God’s message to my spirit as we put away wet gear and packed up what we’d need for a dry night at a motel down the mountain.

 How had I come so close to blaming God… again?

 Why do I feel entitled to a perfectly pleasing vacation? Am I really that tired?

 I was beginning to suspect that my attitude of I need, I need, I need was wearing me out far more than the reality of my circumstances.

Before long, I began to thank Him for:

… the blessing of good health (so many of my friends suffer)

… happy relationships with each of my children (so many women I know walk on eggshells, feeling alienated and judged by the ones they love the most)

… restful friendship and vibrant connection with my husband (how many women do I know who can say that after 37 years?)

…all the things we take for granted until they’re taken away.

My own entitled expectations began to sound spoiled.

Did God really have to give me sunny skies and a perfectly served up vacation in the mountains in order for me to feel blessed?

Geez Louise, get over it Di! Go out and have a fun adventure in this storm!

And so I did. We did.

The rest of the day was filled with wonder and delight at the swiftly changing sky. We watched an eagle— a bald eagle— circle and swoop and dive to the surface of the lake, emerging triumphantly with a fish in it’s beak.

Later that afternoon we drove a ways down the mountain to pick up the package from Cochlear that had been Fed Ex’d to the small town hardware store. A quick change out of the misfiring cord and…

Voila! Sound rushed back into my world.

This morning I am relishing clean sheets, fluffy pillows (we forgot to bring pillows camping!), a couple of hours just to myself while Phil goes fishing… and then back to camp. Blue skies are expected for the rest of the week, but we’ve been duly warned that weather in these high Sierras is unpredictable.

And I’ve been warned in that beautifully restorative way of the Spirit of God, to…

 Cling to Me even when you do not understand.

 From a heart that is still learning to cling after all these years,


P.S. Is there something you are moaning and groaning about that is keeping

      you from seeing and hearing the beauty of God’s presence in your life?

      The surest way back to joy is the relief that comes with confession.

      My go-to sin is self-pity, what is yours?