This morning, I went to Adoration as I do every Friday morning. At my hour, the church is deserted, as well it should be, because everyone else is tucked in their beds, snuggling in for a last few hours of sleep. There was a strange phenomenon this morning, though. God and I were hanging out, and I was reading this difficult book (I always understand it better when I read it with God), and there was a constant racket. I kept looking up. Is someone here with me? I wondered, knowing the answer was “Yes” (God, of course!), and “No!” (I was obviously the only person there, period). After I’d read the number of sections I had marked, I started writing in my prayer journal. It was then that I realized, talking to God, that OF COURSE I was not alone. There’s a whole roomful of people and celestial beings in there with me. What about the communion of saints? What about my guardian angel, and the church’s legion of angels, and the patron saints who stopped in? It’s just that they’re usually a whole lot quieter.
I couldn’t get the story about Samuel and Eli out of my head. (You can read it in the Bible, 1 Samuel 3:1-18) Samuel keeps hearing his name in the middle of the night. Up he jumps, running to Eli. Eli tells him to go back to bed. I think it was the third time around that Eli caught on—poor guy was probably unable to get back to sleep, and maybe he was finally awake enough to understand what was happening. He tells Samuel, “Ah, that must be God calling you. Next time respond, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’” So maybe all the banging and clanging this morning was God’s way of getting my attention, using his pals. There I am in a silent church, during an hour with God, and he STILL doesn’t get my attention. Nope, there I sit, immersed in a book that’s way over my head (but so very, very good). BAM. WHAM. CRASH. I look up. I look around. I smile to the front.
It wasn’t until the last ten minutes that I kneeled down and finally said, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” It took God an hour to get my attention this morning. I wonder how long he’s been trying.
My goal this month is to make time to listen to God. Part of a conversation is listening. Our conversations with God are no different.