Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.
At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!” and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. The Lord called again, “Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy.Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” Then the Lord said to Samuel, “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle.
your voice calls us
Sometimes we confuse your voice
with that of
a loved one,
you keep calling.
We, like the boy Samuel,
run to others saying,
"Here I am, for you called me."
But really it's your voice.
I have heard your voice before.
Sometimes it sounded
like Jeff Aiken, my childhood preacher,
like Wayne Hogan, an elder in my home church,
like my parents, as they prayed for me,
like Bobby Wilkes, a mentor pastor,
like Wayne Edge, a nominating committee chairman...
But each time
it was You, Lord.
You were calling my name
inviting me to listen
to the new thing you were doing!
And now it has happened again,
this time Your voice sounds
like Elisa Edwards and
the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC.
You are again calling my name
asking me to listen
to respond to a new thing you are doing.
Help us listen deeply
to your voice.
Teach us, as Eli taught Samuel,
to respond saying,
for your servant is listening."
And make us open
to hear where you are leading us.