Under the wet grass crickets crick-crick; perched high near the sky winged things sing melody. If I don't pay attention I miss the concert. A rooster crows, reminding me to listen. A coucal adds her commentary, counterpoint in alto. Are You speaking, too, and I'm just unaware? The world is drenched with Your kind blessing. I soak it in, on alert, grateful, listening.
Have you ever been desperate to know what the Lord might be saying to you? I have been, many times. Sometimes his Word made the message clear, but other times I needed personal input from Abba. About 20 years ago I began to deliberately pursue the ability to listen to him. And I discovered that it was often when I picked up my pen to write a poem that I began to realize what he was impressing on my heart.
So in this phase of retirement I have put together a collection of my poems that specifically address this process of learning to pay attention to the Voice. When He Whispers: Learning to Listen on the Journey has just been published by WestBow Press, and you can find it on Amazon and westbowpress.com, where you can get free shipping: https://www.westbowpress.com/…/824658-when-he-whispers
I am launching the book this week and am reaching out to my friends and readers to join the book launch team! If you would like to help promote the book by writing a review that you post on Amazon and any other sites you use, it would be a huge help in getting out the news that this book is available. Just let me know via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or messenger.
It is a very intimate journey that I share in this book! None of the poems were written with the intent to publish them. But as time went on I would sometimes share one that was particularly relevant to a friend’s situation, or post one on Facebook. The affirmation that I was often startling. It showed me that others could benefit from this journey too, and some just really enjoyed walking the long path with me. So I decided to share what I personally had gleaned along the way by publishing a collection.
God had made me what can be called a “word nerd.” I love books, writing, and languages. I do have a journalism degree as well as two masters, one in linguistics and one in biblical studies (an MDiv). These were all part of the bigger picture that he was preparing me to do, training pursued as needed along the way.
When we entered into ministry in Côte d’Ivoire, concentrating on reaching the Nyarafolo people, I was learning a language that had not previously been written, learning the culture through participation and interviews, then working in Bible translation, I would come home with words in at least three languages whirling through my thoughts. And since one of the highest values in that people group is life in community, we kept our front door open until 8 p.m., receiving visitors – or else went to friends’ homes to visit, especially on weekends. Their stories were added to the burgeoning piles of thoughts.
Since words were the key element to my processing all of this, it should not have surprised me that the Lord could use that very thing to speak to me: words. I had started writing poems at the age of 7, and as an adult I found that one way I could hear Abba was by taking up a pen when I felt him nudge me with a thought. When the words came out in prose poetry I knew that he had impressed the content on my heart. Sometimes lament, often praise or just conversation, those poems became a journal of my learning to listen. The poem highlighted above, “Grateful, Listening,” is included in When He Whispers.
I am so thrilled that now this experience is one I can share through this book! I hope and pray that it will encourage many to pay attention and listen, discovering how it is that the Lord communicates with them. We are each unique, and he knows the way to reach each one of us.