More Than a Tap on the Shoulder
By Gary Piper of Fort Gratiot, MI, USA
Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” —1 Samuel 3:10 NRSV
The Lord speaks not only to the biblical prophets, but to each of us as well. It may not be in an audible voice like it was with Samuel; it may be through the voice of a friend or even a stranger. We may hear the Lord’s voice in the harmony of a song. We may read it in the written word. It may come upon us in a sunrise or sunset or felt in a storm. We may sense it in the actions of a loved one.
It doesn’t matter how God chooses to speak to us; what is important is that we pay attention when God “taps us on the shoulder,” trying to get our attention. Jesus’ explanation to his disciples about the importance of paying attention to God applies to you and me as well. “And he said to them, ‘Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you’” (Mark 4:24).
Jesus told his disciples when God speaks and we listen, the Holy Spirit helps us understand God’s message. As we pour ourselves into paying attention to God, the more we will become aware of God’s presence and the messages needed in our lives.
You might say, “God doesn’t speak to me.”
Want proof? God’s greatest messenger was Jesus.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people” (John 1:1–4).
Prayer for Peace
“Speak, for your servant is listening.”
Spiritual Practice: Voices of God
What is the voice of God saying to us? Do we hear the whispers of God’s longing for shalom, God’s dream of beauty and wholeness for all creation? Do we hear the “voice” of God calling to us in faces and eyes, in the sounds of suffering and joy, in scripture and sacred word, in tears and laughter, in silence and noise? Spend a few moments reflecting on when and how God’s voice speaks to you. When did you first feel called to join God in the pursuit of peace and justice? How does the call of shalom continue to come to you through the many “voices” of God?
Today, God, I will tune out whatever distracts me from your voice.