Hymn #478 in Celebrating Grace Hymnal — “God Is Calling Through the Whisper”
God is calling through the voices of our neighbors’ urgent prayers:
Through their longing for redemption and for rescue from despair.
Place of hurt or face of needing; strident cry or silent pleading:
God is calling—can you hear? God is calling—can you hear?
“Oh, how I would like to hear God speak clearly!” “I’m just waiting on a sign from God.” “It would have been so much easier to live in Jesus’ time—we could hear straight from his lips what he wanted from us!” If you have not been the speaker of one of these comments (or something similar), you have surely heard folk who have said these things. If only God would speak, and tell us exactly what we need to know!
In this very new hymn, Mel Bringle posits that God is speaking to us in our modern age. God is speaking through the natural beauty of the world, through music and art, through hymns and carols. She also states that God is speaking to us, pleading, in the voices of those with needs and hungers living among us. God speaks to us in the tragedies and injustices of the world in which we live.
Jesus even addressed this kind of God-speak in Matthew 25. The ‘church people’ asked him, incredulous, “When in the world did we ever hear your voice, Jesus, calling out to us in need or pain?” And Jesus said, “Anytime you heard the cry of your fellow humans, of basic needs, of care and concern, of human dignity, that voice was mine.”
God is calling.