My mom has an identical twin. If that were not fun enough, her twin married my dad's brother. And to top it all off, they had two kids the same ages as me and my sister. You can imagine how often our families saw each other.
Aren't second moms great? They boss you and feed you and love you but don't ground you for not cleaning your room.
I have memories in the thousands of being in Aunt Carolyn's home and playing cops and robbers and drinking her Tang.
Because of the identical thing, my mom and Aunt Carolyn were used to fooling people and switching places. Even their husbands would sometimes mistake them for each other. They loved those few seconds. I remember them giggling about how they could confuse Grandpa and Grandma on the phone.
Over the years my aunt has tried to con me too. Sometimes when I call my mom's phone, my aunt has picked up with a "Hello?"
To which I reply, "Hey, Aunt Carolyn!"
And her plan is foiled. She thought she could fool me into thinking she was my mom. After all, she could impersonate her twin at their own parents' expense.
But here is what I tell my aunt: I've been listening to my mom's voice since I was floating in saline. Her voice has been in my ears or my head every day of my existence. It comforted, sang, yelled, directed and explained. That voice and I have a million connections. It is distinct to me.
As often as I have heard my aunt's voice, I've heard my mom's exponentially more.
No wonder my grandparents were still left guessing. They had heard both of their daughters voices equally. This one over here asking for milk; this one over here asking for cookies. Two similar voices proportionately in their ears.
It reminds me of another voice that speaks to me often. It comforts, sings, directs and explains. It doesn't usually yell and it hasn't grounded me yet.
The sheep recognize [the shepherd's] voice and come to him.
He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out...
They follow him because they know his voice.
They won't follow a stranger; they will run from his because they don't know his voice.
Your mom's voice is distinct to you because you KNOW her. Her voice has embedded itself into your heart.
Our Shepherd's voice is distinct to us because we KNOW him. The more we live in his house and let him mother us, the faster we can single his call out of a crowd. We know his tone and cadence and his accent.
The sheep recognize his voice....
They know his voice.
For a long time I questioned myself. I had myself convinced that Jesus rarely spoke to me. But now I know the truth: he speaks to me all the time even before I recognized his way of speaking.
Oh his voice. Isn't it so good and so kind? Do you hear the passion in it too? It is brimming with purpose and with love. The lilt and the inflection are endearing, aren't they?
Aunt Carolyn might be able to fool me for the quickest of seconds and the intention gives her joy.
I think Jesus is even merrier when we spy his voice.
For some practical teaching on how to hear God's voice, this guy is great!