“Go tell him I love him.”
That’s what I think God said to me in my car yesterday afternoon. I was on the way home from some filming, and the city was blanketed with the first snow of the year, which is just about the best thing ever for a guy who has lived in LA for the last 9 years. I normally would throw on the radio to pass the time, but on this afternoon, I drove in silence, marveling at the wonder of snow, and creation, and God.
I was exhausted, and within sight of my home, when I drove past the little neighborhood market. Light gray surrounded the building, as sky and ground all met together in the off-whiteness of the snow. The store was lit, a small burst of warmth in a cold winter scene. Neon shone forth from the windows in the bright words of “Beer” and “Wine.”
I was so excited to nearly be home; I couldn’t wait to get into a warm home with warm food. And just as I passed this market, glancing over at the neon signs and the man behind them, that’s when God’s still small voice came to me: “Go tell him I love him.”
I’ve heard this voice before. In fact, I’ve been hearing God’s promptings for months now, and I’ve been ignoring them. I’ve also been rationalizing them, asking myself questions about why God would ask me to approach random strangers, and was it actually God speaking to me in the first place, or could it be my own flesh or Satan trying to prompt me to share the gospel with someone, knowing I wouldn’t do it and then feel guilty about it.
For some reason, I stopped this time, and I drove back into the parking lot, got out of my car, and walked inside. I approached the man behind the counter.
“Hi, how are you doing?” I said.
“Fine,” he replied as he smiled.
I went on: “This may sound a little strange, but I was just driving by, and I was praying, and I think God told me to come tell you that He loves you.”
He looked confused. “What?”
So I repeated the same story, ending with “and I think God told me to come tell you that He loves you.”
He still looked confused. “I don’t know what you’re saying to me.”
“God?” I asked, thinking I could start more slowly.
“No,” he said.
I waited, trying to figure out if there was any way to move on from “God…no.” Nothing came to me. “Alriiiight, well have a good day!” was my final statement as I turned on my heel to head out the door.
This week we’ve been exploring what happens when we’re silent before God, giving Him room to share in the conversation instead of simply talking at Him in prayer. On this afternoon, I don’t know what God was doing, if anything, with that man. It wasn’t quite the fruit I would have expected His Spirit to work in that conversation
But there was finally some budding once more on the branch of my faith. It seems the Spirit has been inviting me to abide in the Vine once more, and I’ve been unwilling to come close for a long time. So it feels good to hear God’s voice again and actually respond to Him. And maybe I need to spend some more time in the silence.
Question: what have you heard when you have been silent before God?