Listening as a Coach : A tiny whispering sound

June 28, 2018

I am fascinated by the power of listening. As coaches, this is one of the main avenues, if not THE main avenue, to the unlocking and drawing forth of that which is deeply inside each client. 

A Bible reading I read today mirrored for me what we, as coaches, have the great honor to do as we encounter and deeply draw forth the still waters as we meet with each client:

In 1 Kings 19, Elijah has been led for 40 days and nights, by God, to a cave.

Prior to this long journey, Elijah had been in the midst of a traumatic set of circumstances.  His life was threatened and he was fleeing.  He left his servant and walked a day's journey straight into the desert. 

He found a single tree and sat under it, praying for death.  Exhausted, tired and hungry, he fell asleep. 

He was awoken by an angel, coaxing him to eat and drink what was provided for him in the desert-a hearth cake and a jug of water. 

He ate and drank some and then lay back down, but the angel of the Lord touched him, and, this time, ordered him to eat and drink. 

For the angel knew that he had a journey ahead of him and that he needed this provision so that he would have the strength to make the journey.  

This is just the dramatic background story! 

Don't our lives, just like Elijah's, have an equally dramatic backdrop? 

We have each found ourselves, at different points in our lives, hungry for more, exhausted from our travel, possibly discouraged and asleep in the desert.  And, inevitably, the Lord nudges us and encourages.....or demands....that we eat the food in front of us that will sustain us for the next stretch of our journey. 

Getting back to the story of Elijah.....he has eaten the food, gotten up and followed God for 40 days and nights to a cave.....when he arrives in the cave, God asked him, "Why are you here?"

Elijah starts to explain his whole, lengthy history of dramatic events that led him where he is. 

The Lord then instructs him to go outside the cave, on the mountain of the Lord and watch, for He will be passing by. 

Elijah sees and hears a heavy wind crushing rocks, but the Lord was not in this.  He  then witnesses a mighty earthquake, but the Lord was not in this.  After the earthquake, a fire, but the Lord was not in this. 

After the fire, there was a tiny whispering sound…When Elijah heard this, he knew that this was the Lord.

…a tiny whispering sound…

This is what we, as coaches, have the privilege to listen for and draw out...those tiny, whispering sounds of the Lord in our clients. 

There are heavy winds crushing rocks, mighty earthquakes, fires, but the whispering sound of the Spirit's voice in the lives of our clients is what we are waiting for.  

Elijah immediately hears the tiny whispering sound and gains great clarity from the Lord about his next call and next steps.  He directly sets out, after hearing and recognizing the tiny whispering sound of God's voice, to encounter Elisha and lay his cloak upon him symbolizing God's commissioning of Elisha. 

Where do I stop in this passage?  It goes on and on and …

…God's plan falls like dominoes…

The first domino drops when Elijah recognizes the tiny whispering sound of God's voice...."a gentle breeze" as the Greek reads.

As coaches, we are called to deeply listen, with a sharpened, skilled and refined ear for thegentle breeze

We may hear the traumatic description of the crushing winds, the earthquake, the fire, and we watch and wait as the gentle breeze comes forth. 

The gentle breeze that manifests itself,  revealing the path forward for each client.

By: Britt Erisman

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