When I ate lunch with my Mom & Dad today she used the word hunches in reference to being guided by God. It resonated with me immediately. She had a hunch recently that led to a meaningful connection with a neighbor. Looking back on it she was glad she paid attention, and she was also aware that the hunch was small.
Hunches come our way as impressions, nudges or ideas. We’ve all had them. And sometimes, God enters into this realm and whispers to us in the form of a hunch. The thing that strikes me about them today is their smallness. So small are these hunches, that we could disregard them and hurry on. But sometimes, as we listen – like Elijah on the mountain when he heard the gentle whisper – the hunches lead to significant encounters with a God who cares.
On a day retreat recently, I enjoyed listening to Kathleen as she reflected on her experience to CBC student leaders. After the orientation hour Kathleen had a hunch that she should focus on the phrase, “The joy of the Lord is your strength…” So, she walked through a park and meditated on this short phrase from the Scriptures. After a while, she was grateful to see a bench where she could rest, but she was really amazed when she read what was beautifully etched into the bench – “The joy of the Lord is your strength” What Kathleen experienced enriched the rest of us in the group immediately. A small hunch ended up blessing a few dozen people and lingering on. Here I am a month later still enjoying it.
How does God guide people? One of the ways he guides us is through his still small voice. When Jesus was explaining what he called “the mother of all parables” (Mark 4:13-20), he made it clear that the parable was meant to enlighten us on the experience of hearing God. Very interesting that the picture he gives us to help us understand what it is like to hear God is a seed (Mark 4:1-8). Like a whisper, seeds are small. Maybe Jesus chose such a picture to remind us that often when God speaks, it starts small. Many of the stories we have celebrated over the years begin with impressions or ideas. It’s the same in creation all around us – small beginnings can result in significant beauty and impressive growth.
Have you had a hunch about something recently that is leading you in a good direction?