I have people telling me things, things they say “God told them to tell me”, but I know it’s not Him. They assume I have my ears closed to His voice, and they even tell me I’m following the devil. They act like they’re the only ones with a direct line to God. But the messages they bring are as far off from His voice as a regular old American dude failing at an Irish accent; like my buddy Chris Dill when he used to try to sound like an Irishman, sounding more like Cheech Marin than Colin Farrell.
Today my grandpa told me that “people who say they hear from God are crazy”. He did the little crazy sign, with his finger twirling at the side of his head when he said it. I think he’s right to some extent and for a large majority of people who claim to be mouth pieces for God, but I do hear God every day. Maybe not in the audible form. Wouldn’t that be nice! But I hear God in more subtle ways; sometimes it’s actual sounds, sometimes it’s feelings that resonate in my soul in the way vibrations might fill the inside of a bell, and sometimes I even hear Him through sounds of sight…really, really loud actions. Like…
The other day I heard this kid laugh. It was a fairly “normal” kid laugh, but something hit me in a strange way. I stopped. Something jumped up and down in my spirit, and I knew it was God speaking. He was saying He was happy.
The other night in the Castro, on my last night in San Francisco, I saw this young homeless dude sitting on the street with a sign that said, “All I want is a hamburger,” the A’s, of the hand-written characters on the cardboard, replaced with anarchy signs. I heard God speak through that sign. He was saying He was hungry.
Before I could get out my thought of buying a burger for the dude my brother, a self-proclaimed atheist, said he wanted to buy the guy a burger. He walked into a burger joint and bought a burger, making sure to get the order exactly how the kid wanted it. I heard God speak through my brother. He was saying “Here. Have a burger dude.”
On the very same night my brother, pregnant sister-in-law, and I had this crazy a capella jam session with this random dude who was a cross between Michael Jackson and Dave Chappelle, who had been chilling with his stoner, self-proclaimed-Roseanne-Bar-look-alike girlfriend. “Dave”, fairly inebriated, flagged us down, for reasons I do not remember. Then the music started, because we made it. He pointed to me and said, “Oooooooooh oooooooh ooooooh (singing)! You sing that!” And I did, and Bill jumped in, and then Darcy, and then Dave sang over our ooooooh’s with the melody. We harmonized. It was beautiful, to us. Dave said the harmony hit him in a special way, a way that was better than 20 billion dollars (though he’d actually rather have the money), and a way that meant he did not need anything else for Christmas. We all agreed it was magic. Dave looked up at the sky and said, “Why you fucking with me Michael?!” obviously talking to the late great MJ. It was strange, but it also made sense at the time. He didn’t know where these random “harmonizing white boys” came from, nor did we know his origins, but that moment was meant to be, and it seemed so perfect. It truly was magic. And I heard God speak. He said He liked our music.
I liked it too. And so did Dave. And Bill. And quite a few passing people.
And now I’m sitting here, not really able to sleep, and my friend, who I haven’t seen in eleven years, is texting me and randomly inviting me to come with his family on a trip to Hawaii. I don’t know if I’ll go or not, but it sounds like fun. And I heard God speak. He said I need to learn to hope again. Yeah, you might not have recognized that one, and that is because God knows me in a special way and I know Him in an equally special fashion, and sometimes we communicate in secret code, like little kids who make up fake languages with their friends in elementary school.
You may think you’re giving me a “message from God”, when it’s only making as much sense to my soul as that Arabic song I heard the other day; I didn’t understand it at all. At the same time, you may not be trying to speak on God’s behalf, and He might be using you to send me a message loud and clear. But I trust that God knows what I need to hear when I need to hear it. And as long as I am open to hear it, I will hear his voice. And I trust that God will speak to you in the special way that you two have developed, and I will not be assumptious enough to think that it would be through me, though I also don’t mind.