How Do You Know You're Hearing from God?
Alicia Reese
June 22, 2021

I recently purchased and began reading the book "Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal." It is edited by Sarah Bessey and includes writings from an extraordinary cohort of women, all put together during the pandemic. I have found every piece to be moving, comforting, beautiful and/or thought-provoking.
The following are excerpts from one of the pieces that particularly struck a chord for me. My biggest struggle is not praying or talking to God, or evening in knowing that God hears me, but rather, in not knowing when God is responding to me. I have a hard time hearing God. It felt like the author was speaking directly to me, answering my own personal question. And I found her response completely satisfying in it’s honesty, authenticity, and love.

I pray it may be so for you…

Excerpts from “She Said, ‘How do you know when you are hearing from God?’”
By Amena Brown

She said, “how do you know when you are hearing from God?”
I didn’t know how to explain
It is to explain the butter grit of cornbread to a mouth that just discovered it has a tongue
The sound of jazz to ears that only ever thought they’d be lobes of flesh
The sight of sunsets to blinded eyes that in an instant can see
To fail at the ability to give words to how the scent of baked bread can make the mind recall a memory
Every detail…
My words never felt so small, so useless, so incapable
I wanted to say
Put your hand in the middle of your chest
Feel the rhythm there…

You don’t have to be inside the four walls of a church to cry out to the God who made you
Because no matter where you sing or scream or whisper God’s ears can hear you…

God’s ears are here for the babies
For the immigrant, for the refugee
For the depressed, for the lonely
For the dreamers
The widow, the orphan
The oppressed and the helpless
Those about to make a mess or caught in the middle of cleaning one up
Dirt don’t scare God’s ears
God is a gardener
God knows things can’t grow without sun, rain, and soil

I want to tell her to hear God
You have to be willing to experience what’s holy in places many people don’t deem to be sacred
That sometimes God sits next to you on a barstool
Spilling truth to you like too many beers…

I want to tell her God is always waiting…                                               
God is always saying
I love you
I am here
Don’t go, stay

I try to explain how God is pleading with us
To trust
To love
To listen
That God’s voice is melody and bass lines and whisper and thunder and grace

Sometimes when I pray, I think of her
How the voice of God was lingering in her very question
How so many of us just like her
Just like me
Just like you
Are still searching
Still questioning, still doubting
I know I don’t have all the answers
I know I never will
That sometimes the best thing we can do is put our hands in the middle of our chest
Feel the rhythm there
Turn down the noise in our minds, in our lives, and whisper,
Whatever you want to say
I’m here
I’m listening