This is me with my dad in 1967. He was my minister, and it was my confirmation day!
Today my students and I suddenly heard a loud, amplified voice making an announcement. It seemed to come from nowhere; I teased my students and told them it was the Voice of God.
One of my students wanted to really talk about that -- asked if I had ever heard the voice of God, what does it sound like, and how do you hear it. I really wanted to continue the conversation. It would have been so interesting! This particular student is an ardent follower of her religion, which happens to be a different one from mine, and we have briefly touched on religious topics in the past.
I work in a school, so I don't feel comfortable going very far with talk about my own religion and how I experience it. That could get very sticky in a big hurry. This student and I have discussed it only briefly when we were not in a group.
Today we were in a small group; I felt I had to put a kabosh on the conversation, though I didn't want to. (I did tell my student that I have never heard a voice. But I have felt a presence.)
So I have been thinking all day about what it is like for me when I experience the presence of God.
I definitely felt God's presence when my dad died and in the days following. Tomorrow is the 8th anniversary of my dad's death. I can hardly believe it was 8 years ago. I clearly recall the days I spent with him in the hospital just before he died. I know that God was there with us. I hope it doesn't sound weird to say, but being with my dad while he died was an important step along my spiritual journey.
There are certain "gifts" associated with death. Hearing (feeling) the voice of God is just one of them. Maybe some day I'll get an opportunity to discuss this again with my student.. not to convince, but just to search and compare. I think it could be a great conversation.