Jesus went on, “You don’t believe because you’re not my sheep. My sheep recognise my voice. I know them, and they follow me.
I give them real and eternal life … No one can steal them from out of my hand”.
(John 10: 27 – 28)
You know the moment in a conversation when you realise you’ve been talking someone’s ear off? Maybe they’re understanding that you need to rant or spill your guts or spew good news. Maybe they’re patiently listening, nodding, looking you in the eye, waiting for their turn to even respond to your incessant chatter – much less share anything about themselves. And it suddenly occurs to you how rude you’re being, and you stop and take a breath and give them a chance to speak. Maybe you even apologise for monologuing for so long.
For me, the pandemic was that moment in my life-long conversation with God. It was if God raised a finger and said, “Um, excuse me, can I say something?” When COVID ground life to a shocking halt, I was embarrassed to realise I’d been doing most of the communication, even if it was well-meaning and full of thanks and praise. It was in the stiller, quieter new reality that God was finally able to get a word in edgewise. I learned that if I really wanted to keep hearing my shepherd’s voice, and know how to follow, the first step was cutting back on all my bleating. Imagine if the whole flock did that – how much better we all could listen!