Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Voice of God

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.


Anonymous said...

What a sweet picture of you with your Dad. I agree with you about the gifts of death. It can be tough to see them when we lose someone so dear, but attending to the gifts is so much more peaceful than . . . whatever else people do. What a though-provoking post!

True Blue Nana said...

It is tricky talking about those things with your students. You never know how they are going to interpret what you say and how they will relate it to their parents. When my father died I definitely felt like we were handing him over to God. I still miss him every day and it has been 16 years.

True Blue Nana said...

PS. I also felt like the last days I spent with my father were very special. We were able to say everything to each other that we wanted to.

Susanne said...

Love that pic of you and your Dad. What a nice memory.

I think God can give you wise answers in situations with students when they ask questions. I think you answered well without crossing any lines. I used to work in the schools too and it is tricky, for sure.

Laura said...

I have taught in public school, too, and have been in your shoes.

I'm sure your openness, your willingness to dialogue, and your spirit are remembered even more by your students than the actual words you may have uttered.

Teaching is a great profession, isn't it? I love it!