We managed to do devotions with the little kids tonight.
The oldest is at the Hunger Games premier and the other is down killing zombies on the x-box.
But upstairs, we snuggle on the couch with the youngest children. Dad stretches on the floor after a 12-hour workday, I fold laundry and we read in Luke 7 about the sinful woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears.
It’s a visual story. There’s a dinner party, a rude host, an uninvited guests whose loud sobs of remorse hush the conversational tones that passed around with the bread and stew.
We bring a helping of ancient Jewish culture into our suburban family room and wonder at things like alabaster jars and hugging the dusty feet of the son of God.
It’s too much for even me: the holiness of that repentant moment juxtaposed with the ordinariness of our half-hour.
I attempt to describe the pride and the brokenness and the awkward beauty of the story of a woman set free from the guilt of many sins and condemnation of a roomful of judges. We talk of being a fan or a follower of Christ, of the sin condition as a whole and how a loving God can’t keep record of wrongs because his character is love.
We talked about who in that room centuries ago really heard Jesus, really listened.
The devotions suggested that they draw a picture of themselves listening to Jesus.
That’s when my boy said this:
I can’t do that. I’ve never heard Jesus talk out loud to me.
And this mama hasn’t either. Not in audible tones, anyway.
Oh, I’ve tried. I’ve cooperated at church on Sunday during silent prayer time when we’re instructed to be quiet and listen to the leading voice of God. But usually all I hear is the guy in the back left who’s coughing or the piano that’s playing or the thoughts in my own head. I focus on the thoughts, thinking that perhaps in this stream of consciousness, the voice of the Spirit of God will sound different and catch my attention.
But I’ve learned that God sounds a lot like me. What helps me discern is His Word.
So I replied to my son, “Honey, have you ever tried to read the Bible on your own?”
“Yes, I did one time when I couldn’t sleep.”
“Well, as you get to be a better reader we can see how Jesus talks to us through the Bible. What’s that verse you’re memorizing for Awana?”
“John 1:1-In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”
“What is the Bible filled with?”
He looks. “Words.”
“Jesus’ words. They’re silent on the page, but when we read them out loud, we’re reading Jesus’ words.”
“Just like if he talked to us?”
“Yep, just like that.”
Do you hear Jesus in the word, in your head, as a voice, a thought a whisper?
If you were to draw a picture of YOU listening to Jesus, what would it look like?