Before my husband and I got our new smartphones (which alas, have not made me any smarter) I had several voice messages saved on my OLD phone.
Our precious married girl, “Hey mom, this is your daughter…”
My married, father-of-5, living-far-away son, “Hey, mom…” and his delightful children, “Hi Nana…”
My sisters in California, my closest friend in New Orleans, my bosom friend in Florida.
Recorded treasures of the voices I LOVE.
“Why don’t you just erase them?” my husband asked me.
Erase them? Extinguish the lilt of their one-of-a-kind phrases?
Send the sound of their “I love you’s” into who-knows-where? I think not.
I long to hear them in person, but if all I have is a recording, although it’s been days, weeks or months, with a couple of gentle taps on my phone I can hear the sound of their voice.
Without the visual presence of a person, clearly the tone, inflection, the choice of words, it is the voice that tells us who they are.
I remember when my mother was dying of cancer almost 25 years ago. I was 500 miles away in a Central California town while she spent her last days with my sister in Southern California.
She had finished chemo therapy and was in a significant amount of pain. I’d spoken to her on my birthday and knew it wouldn’t be long before she’d be passing away.
I urged my sister to let me know when it was getting close to the end so I’d have the 4 1/2 hours I needed to be there in time.
6 weeks after my birthday, the phone call came. I loaded up myself and my things in the car and sped down the I-5, careless whether I broke any laws–I just needed to see my mother.
Thankful for the miles in between us, I had all the time I needed to process what it would be like to finally see her–I had no idea what to expect, but I knew she’d be changed. How much? I wondered.
My sister reported Mom had lost a significant amount of weight (she was thin to begin with).
Then there was the loss of all her hair–would I be ready to take that all in, visually?
I arrived at my sister’s home in record time and held my breath as I knocked on the door.
I was shocked when I saw it opened…who was this gaunt, old woman with a turban on her head? Where was my mother?
Then she said my name and welcomed me in….of course it was her.
Her voice was all I needed to tell me that was so.
I thought about this the other day reading the Gospel of John where Jesus says we, His sheep, would hear His voice. (John Chapter 10).
When God says our name, it is a voice like no other.
And God is always speaking to us, day and night (for He knows we are awake at night, wondering, worrying…praying).
I long to hear the voice of my Father above all the others, but sometimes there is all that ‘white noise’ competing for my ears.