I used to think that to be a prophet one had to do all the yelling. We had to say all the things so loudly that no one could getawordinedgewise. And we had to be passionate and outrageous about the things we were yelling about.
We had to wrestle the spotlight away from someone else that stands in it and we had to get people to listen.
But then I realized that quiet can be more powerful than loud and gifts given are just that: given. They are not the same as gifts taken.
There are some of us who are quiet prophets. Or maybe we’ve just begun this business of quiet propheting because we are just now realizing it. We don’t shout. We don’t argue.
We don’t yell.
We listen and we love; we grace and we invite. We divine the divine sometimes just for ourselves and sometimes for others. We hear the sacred whispered in willows and we see it scripted on the sea. And then we write the words.
Even Ezekiel layed himself down from time to time.
And I’ll never be Isaiah or Ezekiel. I’ll never be the one who shouts from a roof or climbs to the top of the tower to tell the story that burns in the heart.
I have stories the sear the heart, yes, but I’m quiet. Maybe so are you.
I’ll whisper the words in modest corners and tell the stories from humble places. I won’t hike the steps of the pedestal or even the steps of the stage. I’ll let those who want to shout have the single sphere of the spotlight, loud and clear and big.
They can be prophets in that way but I’ll do it this way: with small stories and unpretention. I’ll do this quietly. Because if I’m honest I’m really tired of the socialness of media and I’m tired of the poetry getting splashed across photos of the ocean when all we need to do is stand ankle deep in the waves and hear the poetry splashed across our souls. I’m tired of force-feeding my words when it would be so much better to simply feast on the quiet rhythms of the sacred world.
We can quietly prophesy as we work our desk jobs, our home jobs and our jobs that don’t feel like they fill the soul. But as we put our heads down to do all-the-things that we have to do so that we can do what we want to do we remember that even here, we’ve been given the quiet words to be prophets.
And we speak
Invitation to the margins and the left-outs.
And here is where we live: in this business of quiet propheting. When we are quiet it is then that we can hear the best, things we wouldn’t hear if we were shouting.
Now I know this about prophets: when we are given words to whisper, write or sing, we prophesy. And those of us who hear clearly with uncluttered ears and clear hearts perhaps we are quiet for a reason.
Let us always be a people who are humble in message and peaceful with our words. Let us never wrest the spotlight away from the ones who are better designed to live there. And let us live with quiet words and hearts, telling our stories to the ones who want to hear.