Hello there all you gals and pals (at least those of you who are not on holiday!)
I had my hearing tested this morning. I haven't done this for a while, and it started off as usual. The audiologist played a series of progressively quieter beeps at different registers, then he read lists of words and asked me to repeat them. But then he gave me a test I haven't had before.
He played a recording of a woman saying random sentences in a crowded room. Instead of the woman's voice getting softer, the background noise got louder and louder, making it impossible to hear what she was saying. All I could do for most of them was guess, ("The red blue coat is found under a file?") and judging by the numbers, my guessing wasn't very good. This is not just a problem at the audiologist office. There's so much background noise wherever we go, it's hard to concentrate on the Voice we need to hear, it seems.
Sometimes, even Jesus needed to get away from the hubbub to pray and, I presume, to listen. Although we usually concentrate on the more dramatic aspects of this week's gospel reading, it is Jesus choice of silence and solitude at the beginning that caught my eye. Maybe because it seems to be such a fascinating pairing with the I Kings passage.
Of course, how we encounter God is found on a continuum. The truth is probably somewhere between the Paul-ish end (SOMEONE has to proclaim, or how will they hear?), and the other end - that story of Elijah hearing God in the sheer silence on a lonely mountain.
Or, are you continuing with Genesis, turning this week from Jacob to another generation, and another family of brothers who just can't seem to get along? In that case, you might want to focus on the sense of sight instead of sound, because the images in Joseph's dreams are pretty spectacular. There are lots of lovely interpretations of Joseph's dreams floating around the web, by the way. Found this one here.
Whatever you are listening for, or speaking about, this week, we are all ears. The comments are open.
Picture of the inner ear found here, btw.
And links for the texts can be found at Textweek.