Faith, life, Parenting, relationships, Stories from Scripture, Uncategorized
Comments 6

The Loudest Silence {Hearing Jesus in our Family Room}

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?




  1. I love your action point. “Draw a picture of you listening to Jesus, what would it look like?”.

    It would look like exactly what I WROTE! I wrote my picture today. It wasn’t what I expected. The word of the week was supposed to be for my son whom I call Loud but Jesus had a different plan.

    I too have been enjoying devotions with my littles. It’s so fun to “see” things anew through their eyes. Sometimes those words become mundane when we forget to listen for the voice there.

  2. Love this.
    I think my picture would look like me using my Bible for a pillow, my ear nestled into His words. For when I quiet down, tune out the loud, focus on being still, I hear Him. In His word. In my gut. In my recollection of the day. He’s always there. pursuing me.
    what love!
    beautiful write, Alyssa!
    All for Him,

  3. “But I’ve learned that God sounds a lot like me. What helps me discern is His Word.”

    I smiled when I read this. God sounds an awful lot like me too. As much as I’d love to hear him audibly, I aim to be content with what I do hear. Yes, the Word. The words. So grateful for those.

    (My daughter has plans to see The Hunger Games on Sunday. I’m wondering if I can read the book myself between now and then? I think not. :-))

  4. Tanya Marlow says

    I love this! i have often sulked that I don’t really hear God speaking, when so many others report Him speaking so clearly. It is so good to be reminded again that God speaks through His word. I mean – I konw it, but it’s just so good to really know it. I love the way you explained it to your boy – am storing it in my memory for future use…

    It’s great to meet you! I really like your writing style and your thoughts – woudl love to stay in touch. I am in the UK, married to a minister, formerly in Christian ministry, and currently dealing with being a housebound mum after childbirth worsened my autoimmune illness. Looking forward to reading more from you!

    • Oh, thank you! It’s good to meet you, too. I will say a prayer for healing in your body. I know it’s hard to be housebound and not 100% –I really get the frustration and loneliness that accompanies those seasons. I hope that you find Jesus to be a constant friend, his word a source of strength and the baby a source of joy. Please do keep in touch — click on that subscribe button and I’ll show up in your inbox:) blessings, aly

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