When Spirit Speaks by Katey Zeh


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.

Categories: Faith, Spiritual Journey

Tags: , , ,

16 replies

  1. Love this post! Love your description of the slow messages and the ones that come right in at unexpected moments. Not to worry about the radio, messages can come through songs, too. So glad you received this beautiful message and shared it with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Katey, for this post. I grew up heavily influenced by the Bible and still recall the story of Jesus healing a blind man in two stages.

    “And some people brought to him [Jesus] a blind man and begged him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly” (Mark 8:22-25).

    I always liked this story. It tells of gradual discernment, slowly coming to enlightenment/wisdom. As you’ve noted: “Revelations are rarely sudden for me. They tend to emerge piece by piece, like clues to a puzzle, until the clarity eventually comes.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The spirit and soul of the Earth and Cosmos often seems to speak just in the way you describe – in an ordinary context. However with that much said I must go further and say that writing and celebrating ritual also creates a kind of sacred space where illuminations also come through either during synchronous happenings, a compelling need to do something, or afterwards in dreams.

    I abhor Noise. I have very very sensitive hearing and human induced machine sounds scramble my brain breaking the connection I need to communicate with non human species and myself. One reason I am drawn to the high desert is because wilderness surrounds me – in minutes I am alone in a canyon with only a hawk or raven, perhaps an owl or coyote – and it is in this silence that Nature speaks. I cultivate silence. I long for it because it is in that silence that those Voices can be heard and I become once again attached to the whole.

    One of the worst forms of pollution today is that of NOISE.


  4. Thank you for sharing this, Katey. Sometimes I’ve wondered if I’m just crazy. Could be, but I’m in good company! And that inner voice always speaks truth, sometimes comforting and sometimes challenging.


  5. Katey, this is fascinating. I bet many people of many faiths have stories like yours, stories of unknown voices passing along useful messages, stories of that voice coming all too rarely.

    Sara, I think you’re right that one of the worst forms of pollution in the world today is NOISE. A lot of that noise happens on our tech devices to which too many people pay so much attention, they wouldn’t hear the inner-truth voice if it slapped them upside the head.

    Let’s all try to pay more attention. Maybe the voice will speak again, and, yes, I bet it’ll speak in strange places. But we can learn to listen better.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Katey, thank you so much for sharing your experience. A few times in my life I had a similar experience and since than I live by it. I feel relieved that other’s like you have experienced this spiritual voice. Thank you again


  7. This is really beautiful. I’m so glad I stumbled upon it.



  1. When Spirit Speaks
  2. Creating Space for Wisdom Sharing

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