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He speaks softly thru a child

I’ve been in Colorado for a week and this morning am flying home after a backpacking trip, a leader’s retreat, and a visit with my brother and his family. The ministry of this blog community hasn’t missed my absence, thanks largely to Patti Blakely, who helps administer this b…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

I’ve been in Colorado for a week and this morning am flying home after a backpacking trip, a leader’s retreat, and a visit with my brother and his family. The ministry of this blog community hasn’t missed my absence, thanks largely to Patti Blakely, who helps administer this blog.  She’s had a summer of spiritual revival and shared the following recently:
A friend reminded me today to slow down and listen. I am guilty of letting all of the noise during the day stop me from hearing the soft, sweet voice of God. I have always had to run at a breakneck pace to meet the corporate demands of increased productivity. Day 2 of my AIM mission trip stopped me in my tracks.

We were working with 80 elementary school students. God told me to trust him in finding one very special child that day. I stood and watched and waited, and suddenly I had two little girls who were clinging to me and pleading, “Play with me! Play with me! Come with me to the next room!”
 
Then more and more children also came after me, clamoring for attention. The situation seemed to be getting out of control, so I walked away, leaving the kids and finding a quiet spot in the grass.

As I sat down, a little girl came and sat next to me and said not a word. She took my arm and put it around her.
 
I asked her name, but she only smiled in response. She held my hand and snuggled until lunch.

As we walked up the path, she finally said something to me: “We have the best Dad in the world you know? My daddy left us on earth. But my real Dad promised me that he will never leave me.”

I asked her what she meant, and in a sweet and innocent voice she replied,”God loves me and you. I love you and thank you for the hug, it made me warm.”

The exchange stuck me to the core. I used to think that when God speaks to us it is only during private devotional times. I used to think that his messages would be as loud and spectacular as fireworks.

Instead he brought me close to him with a child’s hug. The ember of that hug and smile will stay with me always. One small act of kindness at a time, reflecting the love of our Father.
 
What means has God spoken to you this summer?

Comments (4)

  • The emphasis here to me was the phrase, “speaks softly”. When we clamor, clutter, criticize or condemn we ruin the atmosphere for the gentle and wafting presence of the Holy Spirit. The spiritual principle here is sometimes referred to as “Christophenes” or “the unexpected sightings of Jesus.”

    It’s the theme of the book I’m working on.

    And it was better than morning coffee to read this as a devotional tidbit today. And that’s saying something…….

  • I am convinced this is why God still has me in children’s ministry! He speaks through them in ways we can only faintly begin to grasp as adults… so untainted and non-religious…it just is what it is. Kind of like Jesus.

    Just last week, after finishing up a study on healing prayer, I was asking my 4-6th graders what they wanted to do for a service project. I threw out some ideas like washing windshields at Walmart or handing out dog treats at the park. They listened to me ramble on for a good 5-10 minutes. Then one boy raised his hand and said, ‘Miss Nikki? Can we go to the Children’s hospital and pray for the kids who have cancer?’

    I was floored…almost to the point of feeling like I had been kicked in the stomach and on the verge of tears. Not because I was proud of them (which I am) but because I felt God saying,’you pray for my Kingdom to come and here it is, will you be quiet long enough to notice it?’

  • Beautiful insight, Patti (and Nikki too) … God has spoken to me this summer in so many ways it is hard to count. Sometimes I have liked what He said. Sometimes I have not. It’s been the hardest summer of the last decade I think. Facing things I did not want to see – in people I loved as well as in myself. I cling to the promise that He works all things for good and as you heard from that little girl, that He will never leave me or forsake me. Speak again, O Lord …

  • It is all about daily gifts of love to those around us. Do not feel that you have to change the entire world. What has one child or person shown or thanked you for, my husband has taken a leap of faith in this journey and after 25 years of faith, you can too. It is about unconditional love and trust. He is our unconditional Father, how wonderful is that?

    Patti

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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