We are so familiar with the five senses. They are what we use to understand and connect to our reality. Like a pilot flying in fog, they are our instruments to interpret what is really happening in the physical world that surrounds us. As we focus on the spiritual world, we also rely on these senses to tell us what’s going on with us – and with God. And so, we often focus on “hearing” God. We talk about receiving a word from Him – as if we have an inner ear somewhere in our head. However, I believe, that as we move from the outer physical world to the inner spiritual one we must go through a translation of the senses.
In particular, the sensation of hearing God feels more like the touch sense. Put your hand on the chair or table in front of you. Register what this sense feels like on the inside. Or perhaps, don’t touch anything- but imagine what it is like to touch something. Can you notice the sense of touch, the inner register? Often, hearing God feels much more like the inner experience of being touched than hearing a voice does. It’s a kind of inner shift, an unsticking, a release -perhaps a pocket of new freedom. As one Director has calls it, “the gentle inner nudge of the Spirit.”