It used to hold a stigma if you uttered, I hear voices. It wasn't just an awesome country song by Chris Young. The video of this song is awesome, so here's the link - I hope this works. I am not great with some of the technical aspects of blogging. Anyway, on the way home from work, this song came on the radio, and my mind immediately seized on the topic, and set off warp factor 1, Mr Sulu! (Yes, I am a "trekkie" and I came out of the nerd closet years ago!)
I got to thinking about the term "hearing voices". Like I said, it used to hold a negative connotation, that of a psychotic break, usually schizophrenic. (The plus side of growing up in a home with schizophrenics, is you are familiar with symptoms.) I remember being afraid I was either crazy of missing something, because as a hearing impaired individual, I was always listening so hard for voices.
If you have significant hearing loss, you are always on alert, lest you miss someone talking to you, especially at school, where not hearing a teacher has consequences! I struggled a lot of years because I didn't have hearing aids. I probably would have qualified for assistance and hearing aids, as well as other assistance as a child, were I not the daughter of a spousal-abusing schizophrenic that isolated his family. I never received training in lip reading, but apparently over the years a developed a fair amount of this skill.
As a teen, my mother introduced me to the world she grew up in. She was granddaughter of a locally famous, or should I say infamous, spiritualist minister. He was credited with her surviving polio, using methods that weren't yet prevalent at the time, as well as spiritualist dogma like the laying on of hands, "measuring", and spirit/psychic healing. I remember my first visit to the Spiritualist Church in Fort Wayne at the corner of Spring St and Wells St. I remember Reverend Bernice coming up to me after and saying, "You hear voices, don't you?" She put a hand on my shoulder and told me it was okay and I shouldn't be afraid. She told me that the dead can't hurt me, only the living can. It calmed my fears as she reassured me that I was NOT crazy.
Ironically enough, going to church at a Wesleyan church years later, those fears came back with a vengeance. The doctrine implies that if we hear voices, it's probably demons.
In the country song, the lyrics expound on the voices being memories of loved ones giving us words to live by. I know there are times I can just hear Momma or Daddy telling me something important, and when I recall it, I hear it in their voices. All this is leading to a point, I promise.
Anyway, I got to thinking, what if all of it is true? What if God speaks to us in voices we are familiar with, so as to get our attention? Maybe "psychic" messages warning of imminent danger are actually messages from a loving Father God who wants to protect us? What if he speaks to us to reassure us using the voices of those we love so we draw near? Who are we to define God's voice? I also think that Lucifer would use voices to entice us to sin. I think that hearing voices might not be a bad thing, if we consider what they say prayerfully. I would be reluctant not to consider this.
After all, I keep coming back to the joke of the man waiting out a flood. He keeps saying that God will save him. First he sends away someone in a rowboat, followed by a power boat and lastly a helicopter. When he drowns, he asks God why he didn't save him. God replies that He sent two boats and helicopter, what more was He supposed to do? While this makes me laugh, I wonder if I sometimes am the guy on the roof ignoring messages from God or his provisions for me. Then, I get the mental image of God smacking me on the head and saying, "What were you thinking? Didn't you hear ME?"
Maybe today, we should spend some time listening to the still small voice, whether we define it as conscience, God, spirit guides, or insanity. After all, God calls us to be STILL and know He is God. If we never have the quiet, still time, how are able to hear Him when he speaks?
So today, I hope you hear voices, and I mean that in a good way!