Thursday, February 5, 2009

Whispers in the dark

My daughter started school this week. The night before her first day, my husband went to check that she was asleep. She rolled over and looked at him and said, I sort of woke up because God whispered in my ear, Good luck at school tomorrow.

It makes me wonder what God whispers to me - and whether I pay attention. A few years back, I held close an image of God as a toothless old crone who sat in a dark room by the fire. Her face was hidden in shadows, and she mumbled away to herself constantly. It was hard to hear what she said, and when I'd ask her a direct question she'd ignore me, or just clam up. But if I focused on a task, she'd start up again and I'd strain to hear her. Sometimes, I'd get a sense of what she was saying. And sometimes, I'd even act on it.

Now my life is so focused on the home, when I think about God I find myself thinking about houses, homes, my home. God walks the garden in the cool of the evening, and I imagine a presence moving through the fig tree, or breathing in the scent of crushed thyme. Jesus loved to share meals; I recall parties we've held, and wonder if he'd have been comfortable here. The metaphor of Holy Spirit as wind, air, breath becomes the light breeze teasing the papers off our fridge, the roaring southerly sweeping the house clean.

God opening a bottle of wine. God pouring down the hallway driving out the northern heat. God whispering to my daughters at night. God here and now, always present, God with us, Immanuel.

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