In my faith tradition we often say “God is still speaking.” If God is still speaking, then what is God saying? Where do we hear the voice of God today?
I hear God shouting in the streets. I hear God advocating for justice. I hear God demanding equality.
Right now I need a God who not only speaks, but who listens. I need a God who is listening to the cries of the people. I need a God who is listening to the anger of the people. I need a God who is listening to the fear of the people. I need a God who is listening to the despair.
When depression, anxiety, and trauma flood our daily lives, we need God to listen. Like the sojourner in Psalm 88, when we end our day in the shadows, we need God to hear us wailing into the night.
To have a God who doesn’t listen to the pain of the people is to worship a shapeless void. A listening God hears and holds our full humanity without judgment. God’s love is not conditional. We will not be rewarded with more love for staying silent in our suffering.
Six years ago today my first book, Blessed are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Family, and Church was released into the world. Just as important as breaking the silence about serious mental illness in my family was the fact that in the writing and telling of the stories, first God was there to listen.
No matter what you are going through now or what you have been through, God is still listening. No matter what you are feeling in your mind, body and spirit, God is still listening. No matter what happens, God is still listening. In hearing us, God loves us and God is with us.
A still listening God is often silent. When the echoes of our cries fade and there is only silence, God is there. In the silence, the sound of our collective voices has not disappeared. The cries of all of Creation are collected and are reverberating in God’s heart.