Thursday, March 9, 2017

God's Voice

March 10, 2017

When Cecil B. DeMille produced "The Ten Commandments" back in 1956, God's voice was a booming basso that reverberated through the entire theater. A generation of American Christians grew up convinced that's what hearing God speak was like. More than forty years later, Stephen  Spielberg was producing "The Prince of Egypt," an animated version of the same story. Instead of merely repeating cinematic tradition, he wondered how he might portray God's voice in a convincing, yet realistic manner. He also wanted to be faithful to the original Biblical story, so he consulted Christian and Jewish scholars. One of the things he learned was that in Rabbinical tradition, when God speaks, it sounds like one's own voice. As a result, Val Kilmer, who did the voiceover for the Moses character, also did the voice for God.

People who expect God to speak with theatrical resonance are usually disappointed. I think the rabbis were right. When I am trying to hear from God, I don't expect a thunderbolt experience. I listen to my thoughts and make sure whatever they are, that they are subject to God's voice as revealed in the Scriptures.

I've learned however, that God's voice has another sound to it. His voice has a distinct feminine timbre that sounds a lot like Linda. A visit to my mother got canceled today due to the windstorm that left her and thousands of others in her area without power. So instead, I decided to move some rocks and clean up the bank by the creek, which involved cutting three trees and dragging a load of brush to a burn pile. Linda pitched right in, and after a couple hours, asked if I were ready for some coffee. We sat and drank our coffee, then she told me she was done for the day and suggested that I quit, too. I sat for awhile on a rock and did a price check on a tooth bar for my tractor before hearing the rest of the brush calling my name. In retrospect, I'm pretty sure it wasn't God speaking. Another hour later, it was all cleaned up, and I was all washed up. Tonight my back is pretty sore. Fortunately, Linda is not. Sore, that is. Maybe next time I'll listen a little more closely. And maybe not. I can be a slow learner. Which is why I need grace, which God has plenty of, for which I am thankful tonight.

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