I have two voicemails saved on my phone that I listen to when I get a little bit sad. I used to have a few from various friends who made me laugh. But I’ve deleted them all except two. The first one is from Rob. The second one is from Rob. The first one was left the day after our first date. He called to ask me which version of Alien he should watch – director’s cut or theatrical version. The second voicemail was a couple weeks ago to tell me he was madly in love with me – his words – and that he wanted me to hear his voice and that he wasn’t going any where. It was after a hard day and a tough conversation and a heavy heart. One of these voicemails makes me laugh. The other makes me cry. But they both gladden my heart.
Listening to Rob’s voice, I get a small glimpse of what it means when Jesus says “My sheep hear my voice and they know me.” There is something to hearing the voice of one who loves you when they call you, or when they walk into a room and you don’t even have to see them, but just hear their voice or their laugh and everything else takes a back seat.
But then there are voices you don’t want to hear, the voices that have the reverse effect. They make you recoil in fear or anguish, terror or deep sorrow. They pierce through your armor and you come undone. Voices of the accuser, reminding you of your past, the threat of destroying everything you’ve worked for or exposing the secrets, the skeletons in your closet that no one has seen. Or it’s a mocking voice, ridiculing your notion that you could ever truly be happy or gain a reward in the form of a pure love, that it will always be based on lies and masks which you have worn for most of your life.
And it occurs to me, these voices all sound like mine. They are mine. My voice trying to drown out the sound of Love, Hope, Grace, Mercy, Truth. The storm threatens just off the shore, the wind howls around me, and the waves crash against the sand. But like being lost at sea, at a great distance away, I know in my soul that help is on the way, that there is One who commands the waves and winds. And so I wait patiently for him. I cry out to him in my distress. I seek his voice, and I know it when I hear it.
“Call to me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things”