Why is it that when we talk to God we’re said to be praying but when God talks to us we’re schizophrenic? ~Lily Tomlin
I was about seven months pregnant with my first son, when my husband left for a weekend church retreat. Friday and Saturday passed with no movement from my active little fellow. I became concerned.
Sunday morning I sat in the pew, waiting. My husband walked to the podium and began to preach.
The baby inside me jumped and turned in a silent “Hallelujah dance.”
He had heard his father’s voice and responded.
Mary and Elizabeth are both stunned to find themselves pregnant. Elizabeth has tried to have a baby for so many years she has stopped counting. She has probably stopped praying.
Mary is not married, isn’t even sure how a baby is made, and yet here she is– pregnant.
In fear and confusion, Mary heads to her cousin Elizabeth’s house. She knocks on the door, raises her eyes to meet Elizabeth’s gaze, and offers a hesitant, “Shalom.”
The baby inside Elizabeth leaps when it hears the sound of Mary’s voice. . . Mary so recently touched by the Holy Spirit . . . Mary so longing to know everything is going to be alright.
And Elizabeth knows what her child has heard. She is filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaims, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! . . . Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:42, 45)
Elizabeth was in tune with the Spirit. She was listening for its call, watching for its coming.
Did you give $10 to the homeless man at the Spirit’s urging? Did you call that friend you haven’t heard from in years? Did you stop to pray for the passenger in the passing ambulance? Did you carry groceries for the mother with three children pulling on her pants? Did you encourage the humming teen in the checkout line to keep singing praises?
Do you know when you hear the sound of God approaching?
Are you listening for his voice?