My Right Ear

It was my right ear that heard the voice in my bedroom.  We laid in bed with the cool of night tucking in the corners of our sheets.  It was that blissful period of silence when all the words of the day had been said, when his fingers curled around my hip and the only sound was the syncopated rhythm of our breathing keeping track of the seconds that tiptoed by as we edged into sleep.

My left ear-my good ear-was pressed against my pillow when my right ear, the ear marred with scar tissue from countless childhood ear infections, the ear that struggles to hear anything, heard the voice whisper in our bedroom.

“What did you say?” I rolled toward my husband.

“I didn’t say anything,” his words were thickening with sleep.

“You’re going to think I’m crazy, but I heard a voice.”

“I didn’t hear anything.”

“I swear I heard a voice.”  I sat up in bed and looked out the window into the backyard to see if it had come from there.


Even the blackberry bushes that scratch along the fence were still.

My husband patted my hand.

“I’m not saying you didn’t hear a voice.  I’m just saying it wasn’t me and I didn’t hear it.  What did it say?”

“It was a whisper and it said, ‘Let go.’  I swear I heard it.”

“Maybe you’ve watched Frozen too many times,” he laughed.

“I haven’t seen that movie yet.”

“What did the voice tell you to let go of?”

“I don’t know.  It didn’t say anything else,” I shrugged.

He rolled over and I laid back down and tried in vain to close my eyes and rest.

His breath fell into the familiar pattern of sleep and I slipped from bed into the living room where I flicked a blanket over my legs and stretched out on the couch.

“Okay, I’m listening.  Let go of what?  And when am I supposed to let go of it?”

I felt silly talking out loud, but I figured if the voice was going to audibly speak to me, then I’d better say something back.

I waited to hear the voice again.

I waited all night, my arms goosebumped with anticipation, but the voice didn’t speak again.

Now here’s where you and I might have differing opinions, but I hope you’ll hang in here with me anyway.  The most rational explanation I have is that it was God speaking to me.  Believe me, I know how crazy that sounds.  Like ‘Go Build An Ark, Noah’ kind of crazy.

I believe God still speaks today.  I really do.  But the truth of the matter is often times, most times, really, I think I don’t hear His voice because I don’t listen.  I don’t take the time to get still and earnestly listen.

So it’s no surprise to me that He waited until the rare moment that I was quiet and spoke into my scarred right ear, the ear that is constantly a beat behind and causes me to pepper conversations with, “What?  What did you say?  I’m sorry, but I didn’t hear you.”  The ear that causes me to utter the geriatric phrase, “Speak into my good ear.”

Since the night I heard the voice, I’ve continued to ask what exactly I’m supposed to let go of and when I’m supposed to let go of it.  God hasn’t spoken to me again, at least not audibly, which is equal parts relief and disappointment.  I really don’t want to be the crazy lady who hears voices, but I also, with every fiber of my being, don’t want to be the girl who misses out on hearing God.

I heard God whispering on a Thursday night.  The following Sunday morning we sang a song in church and part of the chorus was, “You are God.  You are God.  Of all else I’m letting go.”

Maybe that’s it. God is God and I should let go of the rest because in the light of God being God the rest really just doesn’t matter.  If only it were that simple to put into practice, right?  Right.

It occurs to me now as I lay here under my mosquito net in the early morning hours, with the sounds of Gulu waking up filtering up though my window, that maybe there isn’t one particular thing that I’m supposed to let go of, but maybe the point of God whispering to me in my bedroom that night is that now I wake up each morning and ask, “Ok, what do you want me to let go of today?”  Maybe it’s not about letting go of one thing, but about being willing to let go each day and focus on the fact that God is God.

Even still, I go to bed each night and lay on my side with my left ear-my good ear-pressed against my pillow, leaving my scarred right ear at the ready because if God wants to speak into it, I don’t want to miss His whisperings.

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