The Small Voice Talks Big


Inside all of us a sacred pulse beats an even drum of loving calm. It’s beneath the layers of our accommodation, posturing, projected image and our best efforts. It is at our essence, intangible, yet knowable. Some call it the Human Spirit, but I believe it's a link with the divine and all that lives. I think it’s The Holy Spirit and it wants to embroider it’s threads through our physical, emotional and intellectual states. It is that inner voice, the inner wisdom that kicks up when we least expect it, or when we are still enough, surrendered enough to hear it saying simply, “Its o.k.”

Sitting at the bedside of my dear Daddy, ten days after his stroke, I am aware of this force within him and me. It keeps saying, “it’s o.k.” and “he’s o.k.” even when proof of his circumstance speaks a different tone. The underlying peace of this still, small voice is bigger than the calamity of this stroke that has shaken to the core.  I have always been close to my dad in a way that is hard to describe. He just gets me and I get him. We seldom disagree.  Rarely, generational or gender differences define disconnect when there is one. We laugh at the same things, even laugh when he has to slowly explain a joke he just slowly delivered in speech lurching several paces behind thought.  We sigh in tandem.

As Daddy nods off into one of his frequent cat-naps, I rush away from the comforting small voice and throw myself into the doing.  I go straight into my power, my reasoning, and decide to shoulder the burden of all that is wrong, to somehow make it right. I busy myself writing inspirational quotes and scripture on large sticky note pages that I paste adjacent to his bed.  Inspired, I throw in separate sheets bearing the names of each of his grandchildren.   I show him a documentary called “The magic Pill” on my hand-me-down laptop which struggles to connect to the weak Wi-Fi signal here at the rehabilitation hospital. We are both convinced that a fat rich, high protein, low carb diet is imperative for his healing.

The cafeteria here has abysmal choices and I’m bothered by institutionalized stupidity not acknowledging the necessity of nutrient rich foods for those needing it most. The absurdity of disallowing a power strip to charge my dad’s kindle and iPad close to his functioning left side prompts me to utter a disdainful comment to an unsuspecting and innocent nurse. The big square window that won’t open in my dad’s room also ticks me off. How I’d love him to breathe in the sweet perfume of June flowers set off by the rain that just fell. I take him for a walk instead, pushing him around the facility for a sun bath, giving him my sunglasses that make his favorite color green, a multitudinous array of hue.

On the sidewalk that ends in a tapered ramp allowing a turnaround or a sharp turn onto the road over scattered rocks, I see my dad sitting at the end of our sojourn with a smile on his face.  The Holy Spirit shines peace through his sparkling eyes looking at me as I take his photo, sunglasses removed. We are in the calm and quiet stretching out over an endless prairie topped by shimmering clouds to the East.  We remain still, enjoying the openness of creation; the precision of nature as birds land and lift and the rain-kissed breeze blows.  I am whispered to and I listen.  I am told to let go of results, to not hold expectations, but to be in this precious moment where there is healing of an unknowable scope, and to trust that even now, all is well.