The Call

She’s fine today, but two weeks ago, my six-year-old took a spill while playing at school and ended up needing stitches. (No worries—the stitches are already out.)

That evening, there was a meeting my wife had planned to attend. When the school nurse contacted her, my wife’s first thought was something along the lines of I need to take care of my daughter and get her comfortable quickly enough that I can still leave for my meeting on time.

But when she saw the wound, and phoned the pediatrician for advice, it became clear that she would need to take the child to the hospital. Her plans for the evening were done.

In recognizing this, was my wife not called?

I think she certainly was. The author of events said to her: Abandon your plans. I have a different plan for you today.

And if we see this as a call, then by definition it was also a voice. This was the voice of God, communicating through events.

The exigency of these events made for a call that was immediate and plain. But here’s the thing: Can you and I look for that same voice in the events around each of us? And can we expect that voice to speak not just loud and urgent messages, but also slow and subtle ones?

As a mother “heard” the Creator in external happenings, we might turn the same kind of attention—the same kind of ear—toward listening into the array of encounters and circumstances that we are given. Each of us stands at the center of a sphere of experience that is absolutely unique. If God might issue a loud call through the events of this sphere, he might speak by the same means—he might be speaking right now—to offer softer messages, such as affirmation or guidance.

A seemingly innocuous question therefore deserves our solemn consideration as we search for what the Creator might be telling us. That question is: What’s going on?