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Just about every morning I get out and walk the dog and wave at the neighbors as they drive past. Some I know well, some I don’t, but I wave and almost everyone waves back. In a small town we just sort of learn to wave at everybody, but each wave means something a little different.
For example, when we know the car or driver pretty well we give a big wave. If it’s just an acquaintance the wave may be smaller, but still a wave of recognition. Sometimes, like when walking my dog on a street without a sidewalk, the wave says, “Hello,” but it also says, “I see you, do you see me?” Just a polite way of making sure I don’t have to jump out of the way.
Or what about at a big game or concert, you see a friend walking by a few seats away. We’ve all done it; we stand up and wave like mad trying to get their attention. On the other hand sometimes you are with your spouse at a party. You want to check in with each other from time to time, but you don’t wave big like at a football game. Instead you just catch each other’s eye and maybe raise your hand a touch, or maybe just nod your head. Contact made, everything is okay.
You see that little wave is just saying hello, just saying I see you, saying I’m watching you. Sometimes it is a shout and jumping up and down, sometimes it is barely noticeable, but it is always appreciated. The Lord is like that with us. Sometimes he shouts. Psalms says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1 NIV). Just look up on a starlit night, or watch the sun rise in all its glory, that is God shouting loud.
Other times God speaks more quietly. In 1 Kings we read about the Prophet Elijah, wind and rain and storm, even an earthquake came, but the voice of God was found in a gentle whisper (1 Kings 19:11-13). In the whisper of a baby’s laughter, or the flutter of a butterfly’s wings we can sometimes hear the voice of God speaking to us.
Sometimes you wave at someone and they don’t respond at all, it could even be a good friend. Maybe they just weren’t paying attention, they didn’t see. Are you paying attention? Are you watching? Are you listening for the Lord? He is always trying to reach us, to show his grace.
I hope the next time you wave at someone you’ll remember to look for the hand of the Lord waving at you. Maybe in an amazing sunset, maybe in a child’s laugh, maybe even in sermon or a prayer. And just maybe, if you listen hard enough, if you look closely enough, you’ll see that the Lord is doing more than saying “Hello.” He is saying, “I love you.”