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“The inaudible voice of Truth”

From the May 2020 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Reading the book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy for the first time, this statement caught my attention: “The inaudible voice of Truth is, to the human mind, ‘as when a lion roareth’ ” (p. 559). Whoa! What instantly came to mind was the MGM roaring lion icon. But that’s noisy, and she’d just said the voice of Truth is inaudible. 

I stopped to think about this. What it said to me was that even though Truth’s utterances (God’s thoughts speaking to each of us) are silent, they are as commanding, as authoritative, as the lion’s roar. Despite the screams of the material senses, God’s thoughts keep coming until they get through to us, for God’s omnipotence is the “oomph” behind them. We can’t miss them. But we need to be receptively attentive to them. 

This reminded me of Elijah when he was so depressed, wanting to die (see I Kings 19). Jezebel had been killing off the prophets, and her message to him was that he was next. He escaped into the wilderness, then lay down and tried to die. But an angel (a God-thought) awakened him with “Arise and eat,” and he saw a cake on the coals. He ate it, then lay back down to die. Again, an angel awakened him—“Arise and eat.” Then the account says he “went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.” Now, he’d already eaten the food on the grill. I couldn’t help thinking that second meal was spiritual food, comforting and strengthening him.

So then what did he do when he got to Mount Horeb? He hid in a cave. God asked him what he was doing there, and he replied that the children of Israel had turned against God and didn’t want what he had to give. His thought was turbulent, to say the least. No wonder what followed was “big noise”—first, strong wind, then an earthquake, then fire. God was not in any of those. However, He was right there, right then, caring for Elijah. Finally, Elijah heard God’s “still small voice,” and God assured him shortly thereafter that there were seven thousand who had not bowed to another god—so get going!

For me, the big point of all that was that nothing could hinder the “inaudible voice of Truth” from getting in, taking root, and bearing fruit. Not even wind, an earthquake, and fire could silence or disarm God’s still, small voice instructing Elijah, nor could Elijah miss God’s message or His blessing that comes from obeying.

Even though Truth’s utterances are silent, they are as commanding, as authoritative, as the lion’s roar.

In my own experience I learned this lesson, as Elijah did. After college, I had three big, important decisions to make, regarding a relationship, employment, and home. I’d prayed and prayed and prayed to know what to do and where to be. Getting away one weekend to think on these things, I finally got my answer. I did not hear a voice, but the answer came as clearly as if I’d heard a voice. It had been a difficult decision, but I knew the answer that came was right. But could I do it? That was the hard part. 

In my hotel room on the desk was a Gideon Bible open to Psalms. My eyes fell on this: “God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early” (Psalms 46:5). “Right early” to me said “now.” From that moment, I knew I wouldn’t be alone—that God, who gave me this right answer, would be walking every step of the way with me. I truly felt comforted and strengthened, rock solid in knowing nothing could move me from this right course. And I went to sleep.  

The next morning when I awoke, I ran back to that Bible on the desk and reread that precious verse. But this time I saw the verse above it, which was about a city and a river. I couldn’t tell whether the “she” in the next verse was referring to the city or the river, but I decided it wasn’t referring to me after all. 

I was crestfallen. But having a plane to catch, I got dressed and went to the airport. As I boarded the plane, I thought, “No. I wasn’t wrong to take it as God’s promise to me.” I’d so clearly felt His authority and love behind it, and all the way home, it became clearer and clearer to me that God was directing me. I hugged that promise and continued to do so as I went forward. 

The very day I returned home, a new job requiring my skills came to my attention, and I took it. It turned out to be both interesting and rewarding. The job was in the city where I lived, so I was able to live at home for the next six months and save money before moving on. Also, soon a new relationship developed, and the following year we were married. Every step of the way I felt confident of God’s directing and protecting.

Fast-forward many years, and something else has helped me see how Truth’s inaudible voice can be so commanding, so irresistible. A Google search turned up something interesting—what a lion’s roar means. Its purpose is to (1) let the other lions know where he is, (2) show how big he is, and (3) warn lions from other prides to stay away from his territory. Doesn’t God’s “still small voice”—His silent “roar”—tell us He’s right here with us? And doesn’t it assure us how huge His omnipotence is? And doesn’t it warn us to forbid ungodlike thoughts from trespassing in our consciousness?

Not long after reading that, I came across this: “Error is only fermenting, and its heat hissing at the ‘still, small voice’ of Truth; but it can neither silence nor disarm God’s voice” (Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 134). Elijah learned to hear this voice. And we can, too!

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