Beve and I drove to two hours down the freeway this afternoon to pick-up our weary Bug (SK) from her flight from London. She'd slept about half-an-hour on the flight over the pole, yet still managed to regale us with story after story as we turned our car back up I-5. When she'd asked Beve before she left what she could bring him from England, he told her, "An English accent." And sure enough, our little Thespian made us laugh hysterically as she mimicked Liz, their day-trip tour guide. Unfortunately, there's no way to translate that to the page, so you'll just have to take my word for how good her accent is (and how funny that Liz is!), but if you have a chance, ask SK!
What a time she's had these last three weeks. And every story she told us--of climbing the stairs out of tubes stations, before realizing those stairs would be the steepest, longest stairs one might ever climb; standing in Trafalger Square, wandering Covent Garden and Piccadilly; seeing the Crown Jewels at the Tower--all of these things made me homesick for a place I've only visited, but never called home. She loved the trip...but by the end of it, she was hungry for her own room, space, time to herself.
SK is a lot like me that way. We are both social people who need--like we need protein--space and time to ourselves in order to recharge our batteries. She's been this way since she was a tiny girl. After school every day, she'd have to veg out with her Polly Pockets, her books, her imagination.
Just like me...many people don't need the hours alone I must have in order to breathe. The silence other than the dogs' feet padding around the house necessary for me to read, pray, write, be. I'm quite aware of how fortunate I am that I've been allowed these hours of silence and don't take them for granted. Never take them for granted.
It's been in these hours that I've often heard God's voice.
Here's the thing: recently that still,small voice has been silent. More silent than it's ever been in my walking-with-Jesus life. But something occurred to me the other day, something I'm sure is Holy Spirit. For months, I've been lamenting that God has been so silent. I've been accustomed to being able to hear Him, to sensing His presence not only when I pray, but often through my small days. And I can't manufacture that voice. I know. I know because I've tried. That is, when the silence stretched, I began to think that I had been just making it up--that voice, those words, the things I've told other people that were from Him. But this was the revelation--I sit and try to bring up words in that voice, that voice that is so much like my own voice, so close, but isn't. And I can't do it. I can't fake God's voice.
So He's silent. And that comforts me. His faithfulness in the past, His provision for space in my life in which to meet with Him, think about Him, listen to Him, and His now clearly unmistakable voice in the past--all these things comfort me today. Give me hope. As this old globe turns and seasons pass and our lives move through wilderness and lush garden, as marriages ebb and flow, so my relationship with Him. As He has before, so He will again. And I will wait. Watch and wait, and continue to sit with Him and listen.
He who has begun a good work in me will be faithful to complete it. Whatever that takes.