My oldest son Tom, his wife Misti and their two sons Liam and Brodie came to visit us from Austin Texas. Two of those days Tom had to get up early to go to work in Portland. I got up early with him to take him to the Max station. We spoke in muffled tones as we walked to the car. I was surprised when I returned to find Lily was up with Liam and Brodie. She said they heard their Daddy’s voice and woke up.
It wasn’t as those Tom’s voice was the only sound. There were cars on a nearby highway, dogs, horses and roosters all adding to the sound mix, but through the competing sounds they heard their father’s voice.
I thought of these scriptures:
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand. NRSV. 1989 Ps 95:7
3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. NRSV. 1989 Jn 10:3–4
27 My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. NRSV. 1989 Jn 10:27
A few days later I once again took Tom to the Max station, but this time we did not speak from the house to the car. Once in the car we resumed our normal conversation. When I returned everyone was asleep.
This was a simple example of how we all hear and see the same things, but we all discern what we hear and what we see differently, according to how we discern. If we drive a Buick we notice Buicks on the road. Certain songs, seasons, holidays impact us differently, according to the emotional experiences we may or may not have attached to that circumstance.
We can all learn to discern. Why we miss God’s intentions to disclose God to us is tangled up in our idea that we are at the center of everything, and everything revolves around us. The first couple of minutes of this video illustrate why Liam and Brodie know the sound of their Daddy’s voice. This is how I see our relationship with God, but God loves us even more than Tom loves his little boys.