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What is the Still, Small Voice?

“And lo, the LORD passed by. There was a great and mighty wind, splitting mountains and shattering rocks by the power of the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind—an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake—fire; but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire—a still, small voice. When Elijah heard it…” (1 Kings, 19:11-13)

We tend to read this as if G-d is surely found in the still, small voice. But this is not what the text says! Instead, it tells us that G-d is not found in nature, in the dynamism of the physical world, the things that our senses cannot deny.

And then, by telling us of the “still, small voice,” the text is telling us that G-d might be found there. Or – He may not. There is no way to be sure. That voice we hear when we are alone with our thoughts might be the sound of our own divinely-gifted souls, or it might be the voice of G-d. Or it just might be the results of some random synapses firing. We cannot know for sure.

So we can try to hear that voice. We can think of it as divine in origin. The choice of listening for G-d is one that each of us must make for ourselves.

Nevertheless, on the basis of the mere possibility that G-d is in that still, small voice, I, like Elijah, am listening.

Comments are welcome!

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