Has God ever spoken to you? Or, perhaps a more accurate question might be, have you ever listened to God speaking to you? I believe that God speaks to us a great deal more than we might think.
Because we are individuals, lovingly created, we are spoken to in ways that fit who we are and how we process things. Some people hear God’s voice in music, some in poetry, some in the depths of their souls, and most of us would probably agree, in and through Scripture. We can also experience God and his voice through the creation he spoke into being. Indeed, many saints and teachers liken nature to a kind of Scripture in its own right.
The Old Testament prophet Elijah discovered on Mount Horeb that God’s voice is more likely to be a small, still whisper than a great voice clothed in earthquake or fire. We hear the voice of God the Father, the Good Shepherd and the Holy Spirit, in many ways, but often in the centre of ourselves, that quiet, still place where we know things, where we feel things. The place the Bible tends to call the heart.
About twenty years ago I felt led to begin a deeper prayer life, and to start to practice daily contemplation. Stillness and silence gradually became precious to me and once my busy mind learned to occasionally quieten down and perhaps more honestly, once I’d learnt to let it chatter away above the more important things that were taking place in my spirit, I found God taking me to new places and showing me new things, and even speaking wonderful words into my heart.
I began to write them down in my journals, and a few years later, to collate them into documents on the computer. I had no idea then, of these things becoming a book, but rather, wanted to keep a record for myself of the time God and I were spending together, and the dear things he was showing me.
And then, nine years ago, my parents bought me a few days’ retreat at Aylesford Priory for my fortieth birthday. Whilst I was there, I sat in the Relic Chapel, in awe at the sense of God’s presence that manifested through the prayerful atmosphere, and through the beautiful ceramics, woodwork and stained glass. God spoke to my heart very clearly right there. He told me he was commissioning me to be a writer.
From that point on I set myself to the task of making the gifts I was being given into pieces that would bless others. My hope is that as I continue to do so, that readers will be drawn into deeper relationship with God, who is love, and that my sharing the understandings, seeings and stories that I weave with God’s help and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, will be an encouragement and joy to my fellow Christians, and perhaps even to those who have yet to be still, and begin to know God.
I hope that you will join me in celebrating that my book of sacred receivings, Recital of Love (available here and at all the usual outlets including Amazon), is out now with Paraclete Press, and that you might enjoy the extract below.
Still, Small Voice
Though you try to deaden the still, small voice it will come unbidden in the night, a shaft of light in the darkness, a soft sweet singing in the pause between appointments. Gently insistent, it will be seen and heard. And then, how foolish your lives will seem!
Like a gardener watching and waiting for a compost heap to bear apples, with her back turned to an orchard as vast as the sky. Like an astronomer hell bent on searching space for a star to name after himself, when I have painted a whole galaxy for him to call home.
Before you waste one more second on pointless endeavours, hold still, and hear the poetry of your own heartbeat. Listen for the words that are rolling unsaid around your speech like waves of curling grace. These are the spaces that cannot help but fill with the presence of God.
If you each knew your worth to me or had tasted one drop of the ocean of my mighty and fearsome love, you would tremble and laugh at the smallness of your vision and your tiny, tinny hearts I hold so dear.
Endorsement by Christine Aroney-Sine
“What a delightful and enriching book Keren has provided for us. I intended to read it slowly, taking several days to relish the beauty of her words but found my eyes riveted by her beautiful poetry prose and couldn’t put it down. Its contemplative and sometimes mystical style draws the reader into a deeply intimate place with God, relaxing and renewing our souls. It is a book that I will be returning to again and again in the coming months.”
Christine Aroney-Sine author of The Gift of Wonder.
Keren Dibbens-Wyatt is a chronically ill writer and artist with a passion for poetry, mysticism, story and colour. Her writing features regularly on spiritual blogs and in literary journals. Her new book, Recital of Love, published by Paraclete Press, is out in September 2020. Keren lives in South East England and is mainly housebound by her illness.