A Tiny Whispering Sound

The first reading for today’s Mass is from the Book of Kings and it is one I love. God tells Elijah to stand on the mountain and God will pass by. A strong heavy wind passes, “but the Lord was not in the wind.” Then comes an earthquake, “but the Lord was not in the earthquake.” Next, a raging fire, “but the Lord was not in the fire.” Finally, “there was a tiny whispering sound,” and Elijah knew that the Lord was passing by.

We often look for big flashy shows, and hope or expect that God will provide them. It is, after all, a lot easier to be aware of God if we got knocked off our horse by a lighnening bolt, like Saul on the way to Tarsus. (I confess, I have sometimes found myself saying to God, “Just tell me loudly and clearly what you want and I’ll do it.”) This passage reminds us that God doesn’t always (or even often) come with a big bang. We need to be attuned to God however God appears, to be ready to receive the “tiny whispering sound,” no matter how soft or gentle.