By Jeanette Hanscome
I snorted. “It looks like something Christine would wear.”
My sister put the shirt back and pointed toward another rack.
But before either of us could take a step, I heard a familiar voice behind me. “Hey, Jeanette.”
I froze, feeling my cheeks turn red. “Hi, Christine.”
I hadn’t seen her in months, and there she was, at the exact moment that I made a shallow comment about her clothing choices. Had she overheard? If she did, she never said anything about it. But the memory of that day still keeps me on my toes when speaking about others in public, knowing I could be talking about someone who is standing right behind me.
“Who Is This?”
During his time of suffering, Job said a lot of things about God, and God heard every word, including the statements that proved how little Job really knew. Unlike Christine, who kept quiet, the Lord confronted Job—“Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?” (Job 42:3). As Job repented in dust and ashes, he had an encounter with God that changed him forever. “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5).
Throughout the book of Psalms we see David pour out his heart repeatedly, taking deep comfort in knowing his Lord heard him. After some devastating ramifications of living as if God were nowhere in sight, the idea of him listening in was not a dreaded thing, but a wonderful reality.
And it can be for us too.
“I Heard That!”
Sometimes the realization that God hears each word we speak, as well as our private thoughts, can be as startling as being caught gossiping about a friend who is right behind us. Like Job and his friends, we have a terrible habit of speaking about God as if we know more than we do. But these moments that teach us to think before we speak also have the power to draw us closer to the God who loves us enough to listen.
Jeanette Hanscome is the author of many articles and four books, including Running with Roselle, cowritten with 9/11 survivor Michael Hingson, who is blind. She lives in the Bay Area and has two amazing sons.