Friday, October 19, 2012

I heard the still small voice

In the past few months, I have really been trying to spend more time with God. To achieve this, I get up an hour earlier in order to read several devotions and a couple chapters in the Bible. I started several months ago reading the Old Testament. Now, my Bible group is studying Ephesians which is extremely uplifting after being bogged down in rules and numbers and tribes and sacrifices for months.

Along with my reading, I've been writing out my prayers and free-writing. Free-writing is really just praying, closing my eyes, leaving my hands on the keyboard and letting whatever is in my head come out through my hands. After 15 minutes or so, I read, or try to read, what I've typed. Sometimes it is pure nonsense. Sometimes though there is a little nugget of something meaning full. The other day I must have had a song stuck in my head because I typed, "By His wounds we are healed." If you think I'm crazy, you might want to stop now. It's about to get crazier.

Like most Christians, I long to hear God's voice, I long to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and for the past several months, I have prayed for that. Mostly I prayed to shut off my own voice and thoughts so I could hear Him. Guess what? I heard Him. I know what you're thinking, but I promise He is much different from the other voices in my head. For one: He whispers and says nice things. Unlike my inner critic who says, "Really, fat a$$? A doughnut?" He says in a soft little voice, "You should bring doughnuts home for the kids too." He didn't really said that, but I imagine that it's the kind of thing He would say.

While the inner judge criticizes people: "Puhleeze don't complain to me that you're broke, when your handbag cost more than my car," the Holy Spirit looks kindly at her and whispers, "Maybe she has a wealthy relative who gave her that bag." Unlike my inner paranoid schizophrenic who worries about everything and warns me about sexual predators and thieves and human trafficking and black market sales of human organs--I just realized that this voice sounds a lot like my mom, who now lives with me, hmmm. Anyway, the Holy Spirit advises, "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything" (Phillipians 4:6).

Sometimes he speaks in Bible verses but not always. Once, I argued with Him. He kind of threw his hands up in despair and shook His ghostly head. I heard his very soft footsteps as He walked away muttering to Himself. Then my inner critic screamed, "Nice, you even managed to chase the HOLY FREAKING SPIRIT AWAY!!" I don't like her AT all. But I did freak out a little bit thinking that I blew it. God gave me the Holy Spirit, I argued with Him, and now He left.

Fortunately, God knows what a mess I am and loves me anyway, so the Holy Spirit came back. He's comes across like one of those people that your inner critics really want to dislike because they're always positive. But you just can't dislike them because they're so nice and positive? You know the people who wake up happy. Me? I don't even want to make eye contact with anyone until I've finished my second cup of coffee.

The Holy Spirit always has something nice to say. Something positive to suggest. He urges me to do kind things and to encourage others. A friend of mine wrote on Facebook today that the person in line in front of her at Dunkin' Donuts bought her coffee. Isn't that just the nicest thing? Then she in turn bought coffee for the person behind her. It started a chain reaction of kindness. I think the Holy Spirit was probably behind that. Seems like something He would do.

I read the other day that you should end your blogs with a call to action, so here we go: Try to shut off your mind, silence all the other voices in your head--I know I'm not the only one, and see if you can hear what God has to say to you.