Persons, places and things: Listening for God’s whisper


By Barb-Arland Fye

“Do you hear that sound,” my husband Steve asked as we walked in the church parking lot after Mass last Saturday night. We stopped and listened to the wind whispering in the trees. I thought about the Scripture passage from 1 Kings 19:11-12 where the Lord makes his presence known to Elijah in a light, silent sound; a whisper.


In the tumultuous times in which we live, I listen for God’s whisper everywhere: while I’m walking, bicycling, swimming, working, praying, reading, attending Mass and interacting with others. A favorite sound is the voices of children laughing and playing in their yards in the early evening. God whispers that this is what life is meant to be in the growing-up years.

On walks in the neighborhoods around the office, I often turn the corner at the house with the gurgling fountain in the back yard and lush green plants in the front and side yards. The other day I walked to Vander Veer Botanical Park in central Davenport where quacking ducks and the rhythmic beat of the water fountain delighted me. I passed through what can best be described as a hall of trees where the sun cast spotlights through the leaves onto the walkway. God whispered: take advantage of a beautiful day by savoring creation and the people who care for it and share it.


I hear God’s whisper of reassurance in the Liturgy of the Hours. One of my favorite passages comes from Psalm 19A: “… Day unto day takes up the story and night unto night makes known the message. No speech, no word, no voice is heard yet their span extends through all the earth, their words to the utmost bounds of the earth…”

God’s whisper came to me last Saturday morning during a solo bicycle ride when I waved at a friend who was walking alone. I continued on my way. But God’s soft, still voice called me to turn around and walk with this friend for a short while. I felt uplifted by the encounter.
At home, I heard God’s whisper while checking Facebook posts on my iPhone and half-listening to my son Patrick as he talked about life in general. “Put the iPhone down and listen, really listen to your son,” God quietly told me. But I also heard God’s whisper in the silence of an evening walk with my son Colin. We didn’t say a word, but simply relaxed in one another’s company and the physical activity, which had a calming effect on both of us.

God’s whisper came to me as I prepared the sanctuary for eucharistic adoration on the first Saturday at church. God’s presence felt palpable; I was swaddled in love. Sometimes I worry that no one else will show up for eucharistic adoration, but people always do. God whispers: “Be patient.”

I listen for God’s whisper during Mass … to be inspired by the Scripture readings, proclamation of the Gospel and Father Joe’s homilies. God’s whisper comes in the unison of the voices singing in the choir and in the words of the priest or extraordinary minister of the Eucharist: “The body of Christ.”

We are the body of Christ inside the church and in our daily lives, in our interactions with others, online or off. We need to listen for God’s whisper, reminding us that we are the body of Christ. We are not whole without one another.

(Editor Barb Arland-Fye can be reached at

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