Can you hear it? It’s been over 60 years since I last heard it, but as clear as the sound of winter waves that pound the shore, I can hear Grandpa’s steady, dub, dub, dub, dub, strong heartbeat.
Can you hear it? It’s been decades since it creaked along, but as clear as the sound of the barn owl high in the pine trees on a humid summer night, I can hear the squeal, screech, squeal, screech, of Granny’s porch swing.
Can you hear it? It’s been years of discarded calendars since it rang, but as clear as the sound of the wind whipping up autumn leaves in my childhood cul-de-sac, I can hear the tingle-a-ling come-on-along, tingle-a-ling, come-on-along of Mrs. Valentine’s silver bell ringing us back together after fifth-grade recess.
Listening is only Part One of hearing. Interpreting meaning is Part Two.
My Grandpa’s heartbeat meant, dub, dub, dub, dub, you are safe, you are wanted here. You are protected in my ancient arms, snuggled in tight to the robust barrel of my chest, snuggled in tight by my love for you. Come on, darling granddaughter, adventure more into the world of being the apple of this grandparent’s eye.
My Granny’s porch swing creaks meant, squeal, screech, squeal, screech, you are delightful and welcomed right here. You are delighted over on this dark green swing where I bring you tart-sweet homemade lemonade and butter-yellow sugar cookies, always with one crisp pecan at the center. Come adventure, beautiful granddaughter, into more… into the world of being loved just because you are you.
Mrs. Valentine’s silver bell rings meant, tingle-a-ling, come-on-along, tingle-a-ling, come-on-along, you are full of possibilities. You are full of potential where I set up races and free spaces outdoors and teach and laugh with you indoors. Come adventure, wonder-filled learner, into the more of the world and its words, writing begins to grow within my safe classroom.
Can you hear it? Over the years or just yesterday, like me, you’ve probably heard interior whispers from God.
Sometimes it’s a word that absolutely delights you. Other times, it’s a word or image that brings you to fragile tears. Convictions arise. Confessions tumble forth. Deeper healing kindly soothes the ragged wounds of your heart.
Sometimes, silence as God’s response sounds a bit like “Um, I think I’m forgotten. I must not be important. I’m not even sure I’m heard.”
Do I allow God to interpret that silence?
What if it is the case that in those quiet stretches of too-long-waiting when He seems to be saying, “Not yet,” what if that is where He is forming something more magnificent than my envisioned answers could begin to ask or imagine?
Sometimes, I’m Peter, looking sideways at John, while my Risen Friend Jesus grills fish for our breakfast. I’m contentious and discontent, jealous, undeniably immature. I’m wondering what John did to deserve something that hasn’t even happened while already writing my script with negatives as the main event.
Yet, am I able, instead, to turn my gaze, my hearing to His heartbeat for me? Can I listen to His interpretation of this season of my life with no comparisons to what Jesus is up to for another?
Am I letting God translate the pauses, the disappointments, the desert sojourn? Or am I simply mistranslating His long-long-long view for me?
Listening requires interior attention to lead to external changes.
Interpretation requires interior attention to lead to external changes.
Can you hear it?
May we listen longer than we speak. May we hear well the interpretation of the heart of our good Father.
May we find ourselves inquisitively leaning in for His Kingdom language to be the interpretation our heart’s movements.