Though I couldn’t call myself a skeptic in general, I’m always a bit dubious when someone claims to have an audible connection with the divine. I’ve found sacred guidance to be more subtle than that, revealed slowly over time through snippets of conversations and on the pages journals and during walks in the woods with my dog. Revelations are rarely sudden for me. They tend to emerge piece by piece, like clues to a puzzle, until the clarity eventually comes.
Imagine my surprise and subsequent doubt when I heard a voice say recently, “You are already doing the work you want to do.”
I wasn’t praying or meditating at the time–honestly I rarely do either of those. I wasn’t sitting in a sanctuary or even listening to sacred music. No, I was turning my car into the gas station to fill up my tank when I heard the voice speak.
At first I wondered if it was just my inner critic taking a break from the nonstop negative self-talk I’m used to hearing inside my head. Somehow, though, this voice seemed different. At the same time It felt both beyond me and of me.
Was it Spirit? Was it something else? Whatever their source, the words were what I’d been needing to hear. They reminded me that the work is now, not in the future. The voice issued a challenge along with some encouragement: live in the present because what you have right now is good.
Since that day I’ve been longing to hear more. To create more space for silence I’ve taken to turning off the radio in my car while I’m driving and leaving my phone at home when I go for walks. I’ve prayed something like the biblical Samuel says when listening for his call: “Speak, for your daughter is listening.” I’m open. I’m ready.
Nothing else has come. Yet. I’ll keep listening. In the meantime I’m repeating to myself the message I heard that day: I am already doing the work I want to do. It’s the truth, and I give thanks for it.
Perhaps the lesson for me is that when Spirit has wisdom to share, She will find a way. We don’t have to worry too much about creating the perfect conditions for Her to speak. We can trust that the message will come through when we need to receive it.
Still, for now, I’m leaving the radio off.
Rev. Katey Zeh is an ordained Baptist minister, a nonprofit strategist, writer, and speaker at the intersections of faith and gender justice. She is the co-host of Kindreds, a podcast for soul sisters. Her book Women Rise Up will be published by the FAR Press this year. Find her on Twitter at @kateyzeh or on her website kateyzeh.com.