Last week’s installment of “Hearing God” I left you with me being hauled from the church I served in Boulder to the ER twice with bleeding ulcers and concluded that sometimes we hear God through our body talking to us. I just don’t listen that well, apparently!

I also mentioned that the second time I was admitted I had lost almost 45% of my blood which put me at a super critical level. They pumped me full of someone else’s blood, which leads me to another time I “heard” from God.

With all that new blood, I would wake up really early and go sit out on our front porch in the dark in a dark mood and wait for the sun to rise.

I was so angry with God at that time. I’d say, “What more do you want from me? I’m working as hard as I know and I can’t make everything work out for everybody but it’s almost killing me to try. What do you WANT???”

After a couple weeks of sitting in the dark I decided to bring my bible out with me – not to read it but to use it as a coaster for my coffee. After a couple weeks of bible abuse I decided to open the pages and read something, but I’m telling you, I had a really, really bad attitude about it.

I greatly prefer reading the Gospel of Luke to John but for whatever reason, I started with John chapter 1 reading a red-letter edition. (The words in red were purportedly the words Jesus said.)

We read that two men started following Jesus. Literally following him, as in stalking/ following him. He takes two steps, they take two steps; he stops, they stop. In verse 38 it says, “Turning around Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”

The best they can come up with is, “Uhhh, where do you live?” The first time I read those words in my funky state I burst out laughing at what a couple of nunchucks were following Jesus. I mean, if Jesus, the Son of God, asks you what you want, how about you say something like, “World peace?” But no, they say, “Uhhh, where’s your house?”

I mockingly read that same section of John chapter 1 up till verse 38 day after day until one day I read Jesus’ words, “What do you want?” and burst into tears realizing Jesus was asking me if I knew what I really wanted.

I said to God, “I thought I was supposed to say, ‘I want what you want, Jesus’. I had no idea it mattered to you what I want in life!”

I heard God clearly that time. And I told God what I wanted. I wanted to be able to start a church where I could tell the whole truth; I wanted to pastor a church where I could declare what I believed, that absolutely everyone is included in the wide embrace of God’s love, no ifs, ands, or buts.

Remember, this episode started with me asking God, “What do you WANT from me?” and God let me know his response by asking me, “Mark, what do YOU want?”

Sometimes God’s will is revealed when we are clear about what we really want.

Stay tuned, there’s more to the story!

Nothing but love,

Mark