Two men - deep in conversation - walked down a bustling city street; one at home, the other, his friend, visiting from the countryside.
Passing a tree, the visitor suddenly stopped. ‘Can you hear that?’ he said. ‘Hear what?’ his friend countered.
‘The cricket singing…Listen’ He stood with one ear leaning towards the tree to tune into the source of the song.
‘There’s no cricket, it’s in your head!’ the city dweller exclaimed. ‘And, even if there were, you’d never be able to hear it over all this noise.’ With that, he laughed and walked on.
But as he did so, the city visitor pulled a small coin from his pocket and let it drop to the ground. Ping! The coin hit the pavement and slowly rolled to a rest.
Intuitively his city dwelling friend twisted his head round, glancing over his shoulder at the ground, in search of the coin. In the same instant, he was joined by perhaps twenty other pedestrians who scanned the same piece of ground as they walked by.
With a smile, the visitor looked at his friend and said, ‘You hear what you are listening for.’
One of the most famous verses in the bible explains, ‘God is love’. In my opinion that has implications. It implies that God is not pushy. Instead, God is relaxed and subtle. Which means, of course, that in the frantic pace of everyday life I’ve got to be listening out for him.
God of the everyday. Help us to be attuned to your whisper today. In the people we meet and the conversations we hold, in the enjoyment of the company of friends or the silence and the solitude of our inner thoughts – grant us the disciple to listen for your gentle voice of love. Amen.