We worship whirlwinds, not whispers.
There's no money in the whisper.
Elijah had just been part of a great miracle of God, but it’s important to remember that if you’re on the mountaintop there’s a pretty good chance there’s a cliff nearby.
From victory to fear, hiding in a cave.
“What are you doing here, Elijah?” God asked him in that cave.
“I was all for you, God, but the people rejected you and killed your prophets,” he said. “I’m the only one left and they’re trying to kill me, too.”
God probably could have said a lot, because what Elijah said wasn’t exactly true. When you’re depressed, you’re living inwardly and when you’re living inwardly, you’re living in increasing isolation.
Instead of giving Elijah a lecture, God decided to show him something instead. “Go out of the cave, and stand on the mountain. The Lord is about to pass by.”
A horrible storm, a whirlwind came first. Then a massive earthquake. Then a raging fire.
Earth, wind, and fire. And the Lord wasn’t in any of them.
Big, splashy, terrifying, fear-inducing, awe-inspiring events to hashtag and talk about and share opinion on and blame others for. Huge moments we could build platforms out of, marketing the Ten Ways To Survive The Windstorms In Life, How God Uses The Quakes In Our Lives For Good, or What To Do When Your Life Is Surrounded By Fire.
If you can find legs to stand on, if you can get your racing heart under control, if you can stop looking around for a place to hide or someone to tell you what is going on, if you can stop looking for greater meaning in every horrible and scary thing, as rocks literally crumble and burn around you, you might hear it.
It’s a gentle whisper.
I don’t know if I’d hear it.
We worship whirlwinds, not whispers. We glorify and advertise alongside fantastic brouhahas and spectacles, both natural and created. We want to be either the one making the whirlwind, the one profiting from the whirlwind, or the one being swept up in its energy. We have to find some new material to build our audience and that means everything that happens has to be stripped of meaning so we can package it up and post it on social media.
Mary pondered things in her heart. We put it all online. We make our small answers big and have trained each other that the answer is Big And Loud. Where’s the line between being an encourager to others, and simply bottling up whirlwinds to sell as fresh air?
There’s not much profit in whispers.
One of the more difficult things to do was to delete several social media accounts, and discontinue posting personal life to get other people to click on something so I could tell myself I hadn’t been forgotten. This ends up creating a world where we’re surrounded by perpetual carnival barkers.
“Look at my whirlwind!”
“Look at how I’m shaking up the world!”
“Look at how on fire I am for this cause!”
We’re like windmills, needing the wind to power our motion. What does a whisper power?
Maybe that’s the point.
On a still day, a gentle whisper from God can still move mountains.