To Hear

I was grateful that a friend thought to forward along this paragraph from Barbara Brown Taylor’s When God Is Silent. Entering  into the Lenten season, it’s precisely the thing I want to read and don’t want to read, which is why its precisely the thing I should read:

What has changed? God’s voice or human ears? Most people I ask say we are to blame, that if we cannot hear God’s voice it is because we are not listening. . . . But even if that is true most of the time, it is not true all of the time. The death of Jesus taught us that. From the moment he came down from the mount of Transfiguration, the memory of God’s voice was all he had left. He prayed to hear it again in the Garden of Gethsemane, but the only voice he heard there was his own. He was arrested, tried, and convicted without so much as a sigh from heaven. From the cross he pleaded for a word, any word, from the God he could no longer hear. He asked for bread and got a stone. Finally, in the most profound silence of his life, he died, believing himself forsaken by God. . . .

Will anyone suggest that he simply was not listening? I do not think so. In the silence surrounding his death, Jesus became the best possible companion for those whose prayers are not answered, who would give anything just to hear God call them by name.

B.B. Taylor, When God Is Silent (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 1998) 77-78.
Photo credit on home page: GH Cheng
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