Have you ever had one of those days when you are running around everywhere, trying to get it all done, feeling distracting, and having nothing going right, until finally you cry out, "Lord, I need you! Where are you?" Then, you hear it - a tiny whisper replying, "I'm here. I've been here the whole time just waiting for you to ask me for help."
In her latest book Whisper: Finding God in the Everyday, Danielle Bean wants us to remember that God is always with us in our everyday activities. He wants to be a part of them. We only need to invite him along and become aware of his presence.
First and foremost, God is present to us in every single person he created. It is easy to see God in our best friend who always seems to have the right words to say to encourage us. He is reflected in the innocence of children, the sacrificial love of our parents, and the kindness of a neighbor. But what about the neighbor whose yard is a mess that you always have to look at, or the woman at Bible study who is sitting all alone, or our children when they are demanding all our love and attention. Surely, God is not in that co-worker who is always complaining and always seem to get on our last nerve. But he is. Danielle reminds us, "Each person is an invitation from God himself: Will you meet me here inside this precious person whose hairs are counted? Will you see me here in the 'least of these'?"
God is in moments, too - moments of joy and sorrow. Danielle encourages us not to let "our busyness distract us from small ways we might experience God in the joys of daily living." From the delights of watching our babies' first experiences to watching our high schooler play ball on the green field under a blue sky amid the cheering crowd, God sends us signs of his love every day. We just need to develop the eyes to see them.
Likewise, we need to learn to see sorrows as gifts from God, too. None of us like pain or disappointment. Yet they are a part of life. God, however, can use these tough times to draw us closer to him. We learn to trust him. When we reject pain, Danielle warns "that sometimes we reject the goodness of God along with it." This is hard to accept sometimes, but as we learn to see God in our sorrows, he, ironically, becomes the source of our happiness.
Personally, I love Danielle's idea of keeping secrets with God. I am way too blessed to complain, yet I do. Telling God about my little annoyances or pains, I try to keep it just between me and him. By keeping the secret and entrusting it to God, I am breaking the bad habit of complaining.
Of course, none of this would be possible without prayer. When we quiet ourselves in prayer, we always find God. In the sacraments, especially confession and the Eucharist, we encounter God in a very real and deep way. Prayer and the sacraments are where we rest with God and are refreshed and strengthened.
Towards the end of the book, Danielle supplies us with a plethora of prayers, from a morning offering to the pray-at-your-own-risk Litany of Humility. Beyond the prayer chapter is a section with Bible verses to meditate upon, each one corresponding with a chapter. These little gems at the end make Whisper a real treasure.