I believe that God can speak to me. Genuinely. I listen to Him. And ask Him questions. And I’m pretty sure that I’m not crazy when He answers me. So something that I love to do is to listen to God for other people, and to give them a little glimpse of the things that He says.
So one day in Berlin, when the rainclouds had opened their gates and people were rushing to and fro with umbrellas up and no time to talk, we took a seat in Starbucks with a cup of coffee, a notebook and some colourful pens. People often say that God doesn’t talk to them, but I assume that if they’ve never learnt what He sounds like, how would they be able to recognise His voice? We block Him out with our ipods and our TVs and the chaos that is everyday life. And Gods beautiful sweet voice gets lost in the havoc, and on we go living our lives.
Whilst sipping at our lattes, we thought we’d have some fun and ask God details about the way He created the individuals around us to be; their personalities and talents. This is what I heard for a man sitting behind me:
I saw a picture of an arctic explorer, and an image of a globe.
And the phases “Going to extremes” and “Breaking barriers” came to mind.
He was nice-looking man, in his 40’s perhaps, absorbed by his phone and his laptop, obviously working on something, and thus looking closed and slightly intimidating. But this was the guy; this was who God wanted me to speak to. It’s never easy going up to a total stranger in a coffee shop and telling them that God has a message for them, but it’s always the same: take a deep breath, say a prayer and just do it.
… on this occasion, I was really happy that I had.
He looked slightly shocked and laughed somewhat nervously when I showed Him my scribbled list, and told him that I’d asked God about how he was created. Did anything match what he knew about himself? I asked.
He went on to explain that he was from Sweden [he joked that it was practically the arctic…] and that for his job, he travelled constantly around the world making cutting edge fashion films and music videos [he namedropped ‘the editors’ somewhere during our conversation]. He worked with new ideas, exploring concepts to create film and concert experiences that would be at the forefront of creativity and style. Basically, he told me, it was spot on.
I got to see one of his films on my laptop: it was just as he said. Cutting edge.
He loved our creativity in showing God to people, and it was perfect opportunity because my Finnish friend was able to speak to him in his language aswell! He was able to enjoy what we were doing, because in his work, he did something similar, watching people and imagining their characters; only he acknowledged that listening to God was an entire new level.
This man was an atheist. His wife and mother were both Christians, but he’d decided that God was an illusion. He knew about Him, but had no experience of Him. Perhaps the possibility that God actually spoke and apparently knew about Him in such a way had impacted him in a way that nothing had before.
As I turned away from our conversation at last, he repeated “I may be an atheist, but this has really made me think!”.
I love that. Our God is truly alive. He speaks things that are hidden to our natural eyes and ears. We don’t need to communicate history, a God who was at some point, but no longer is. A God who is irrelevant. No; because our God is completely relevant. He speaks in the moment. He has something important to say in every situation and to every individual.
And we get to be His mouthpiece to a world too busy to listen; we can intervene into someone’s average day with an extraordinary message from God.