This is a guest post by Nancy Jo Sullivan.
In last Sunday’s Gospel, we heard the admonitions of John the Baptist: “Prepare the way of the Lord.” John proclaimed God’s message. Through him, God’s voice was heard. Can you remember a time when you heard God’s voice?
I remember hearing it a few years ago. That evening, my friend invited me to a Pentecostal prayer service.
“But I’m Catholic,” I told her.
“God will be there,” she said.
When we arrived at the meeting, I sat in the back row as my friend helped with hospitality in a nearby lobby. Soon hundreds of worshippers began singing joyful hymns while waving their arms in praise.
I felt uncomfortable. The informal prayer service was so different than the traditional Mass I had grown up with.
But there was another reason for my discomfort. As a single mother, I was raising three children, one with special needs. I was tired and overwhelmed.
“You’ve given me more than I can handle,” I told the Lord.
Lost in my thoughts, I hung my head. Soon, I felt the presence of someone standing behind me. From the corner of my eye, I noticed a cane resting on the chair right next to mine. An aged hand, gnarled and wrinkled, reached out for mine.
As the singing grew quieter, I heard the hushed voice of an elderly woman: “Whatever it is honey, God’s gonna take care of it.”
I don’t know why I didn’t turn around to see her face. I think I was too embarrassed to let her see my misting eyes. But as she spoke, I felt the presence of Christ.
Her voice was God’s voice. The words she shared brought hope and healing to my life.
This Advent, listen closely to the voices you hear. God may have a message for you.
Nancy Jo Sullivan is the author of Small Mercies: Glimpses of God in Everyday Life. She is a frequent speaker at both the local and national levels. Sullivan lives in St. Paul, Minnesota and blogs at NancyJoSullivan.com.