A holy ringing

/ 16 January 2021

I live with a ringing in my ear, a condition called tinnitus. It is a constant presence, sometimes waxing, sometimes waning, but always there.

Years ago during a meditation I decided to consider this ringing the voice of God. Since it is always with me it reminds me that God is a constant companion. But of course, it is unpenetrable, alien, and odd, as I imagine God might be. So I can hear the voice of God, but I cannot understand it.

Instead, to understand the voice of God, I have to turn to my neighbor and ask them to speak with me of their life. It is in the course of listening for the whispers of the spirt in the stories of another life that I can understand some of what God says.

When I speak, I drown out the ringing in my ears. My words easily overpower the voice of God in my head. I cannot hear it. And yet, maybe my words will convey some of what God dreams for the world to others who hear me. Maybe, like me, they can comprehend some brush of the spirit as I share.

The great gift is to have a small group of trusted friends who can give one another the space to speak from their heart, to share their encounters, and perhaps to unveil just a bit of the face of God for each other.

[The image is a detail from “Bells”, CC-BY-NC 2007 by My Sideways World.]

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