Few moments are more special than when I child climbs into your lap saying, “I have a secret!” Then they press their lips close to your ear, sometimes mumbling indiscernible sounds then leaning back proudly to smile at you. Or telling their secret in less-than-sneaky whisper-yells for the room to share, but their whispers are precious and valuable. A whispered secret to share with you alone.
One of my little cousins loved to “whisper a secret,” her fluffy curls brushing my cheek as she leaned close, cupped her fingers around my ear, and told me something special. A whisper is intimate. It’s gentle.
When the world is shouting and demanding constant attention, you must draw near to hear the whispers. In one of my favorite movies, Knight’s Tale, one character says, heralding his friend, “In Greece, he spent a year in silence just to better understand the sound of a whisper.” Silence may grant an appreciation of a whisper’s power, but noise and chaos will remind me of a whisper’s importance. The power of remaining still. Of drawing together.
I think of the story in I Kings 19, when Elijah, in search of the Lord’s presence, climbs the mountain. I’ve tried to summarize, but my words cannot capture the power and poetry of the text, so read the account:
“11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.”
I’m grateful for whispers. For the chance to be silent. To be still. To listen and be filled.