I heard it again this morning. And I cringed.
In fact, I've heard it so much lately that I just want to scream.
What exactly is it that makes you want to scream, Mer?
I absolutely CANNOT STAND to hear someone say "God whacked me with a 2x4" or "God had to knock me upside the head" or "God smacked me between the eyes" in order for that person to get whatever message God was trying to convey.
I don't know about you, but I've never heard God speak to me in harsh or condemning voice. Never.
His voice is gentle and kind. He speaks correction into my life but it is never with brute force--whacking, knocking, smacking--ugh! Those words just make me cringe because they are not fitting for the God I know. The God I know speaks with love and compassion. Always.
We watched a short clip of The Passion of the Christ during church last Sunday and it reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend shortly after we'd first seen the film. She was telling me that the crucifixion scene was incredibly hard for her to watch and she buried her face in her hands and just couldn't do it. And then she heard God say to her (and imagine here with me the most condescending voice you can think of because that's the voice she used to relay what she heard), "Don't you DARE turn your face away. You watch EVERY second of this scene so you will KNOW what I sacrificed for you."
I was dumbstruck.
I understood the importance of really "seeing" Jesus' sacrifice, but what I didn't understand was the tone she used to describe God's voice. It sounded mean and bullying to me.
And honestly friends, I've never felt God was a bully. It seems more like God to say, "Dear, dear Meredith. Please let your eyes take in all of this scene. I know it's hard to endure, but I love you so much that I gave everything for you and I want you to see, to really see, the depth of my love."
Which sounds more like God to you?
I don't know. Maybe I'm off. Maybe I'm way off.
But maybe, just maybe the voice we mistake as God's is our own voice of condemnation. And maybe, just maybe, we need to listen a little harder for that voice that sings over us.