God gives some a special gift.
This gift allows the one possessing it to tame or train an animal using non-threatening body language and gentle words rather than reliance on physical contact.
Those who possess this gift are known as “whisperers”. Within them lays an intuition and heart that understands at an unusual level.
In 1998, a movie was released that depicts this perfectly. The movie was The Horse Whisperer. In it, a young adolescent girl and her horse are seriously injured in an accident. Both the girl and the horse have been deeply traumatized by their own injuries as well as by the death of the girl’s friend who had been also riding alongside them.
The girl’s physical injuries are significant, but the internal damage to her heart and spirit are even more severe. Her beloved horse has such grave injuries; the veterinarian believes the horse needs to be “put down”. Not only is the horse physically wounded, but also he is like his rider, wounded within his heart and personality.
It becomes clear to the mother of the girl that her healing is tied to that of the horse. This leads her to search for a horse whisperer that can bring healing to both the horse and her daughter.
As the movie unfolds, the gifting of the horse whisperer is tested and fascinating to behold. Little by little he intuitively uses his gifts to begin to bring the horse to a greater level of wholeness, but the girl’s heart takes longer to heal. The trauma shared by the girl and the horse creates a fear that overwhelms each of them in their relationship with each other.
I never fail to be touched by the story as it unfolds on the screen.
When I was still working, I met with a woman whose life had been shattered by a car accident. One of the tools we used to help her face the accident was this movie, shown in very little segments. Not only had her body been traumatized, but also her heart and her spirit.
Many of us may have seen the movie or heard of other whisperers with various animals.
The truth is that many of us, humans, have been wounded and traumatized. What about us? Are we in need of such a whisperer as well to gently tend to our hearts and spirits?
I think so.
Jesus gives us a model of what that might look like. He saw the wound. He heard the words, but He heard beyond what He saw and heard. He looked deeply into the heart and spirit of the person and saw what others missed.
Did Jesus have discernment beyond any we have ever seen? Of course He did, but there was something else perhaps.
Jesus had a God-listening heart!
He was in communion with His Father at a level few of us can imagine. The Father who made each person and knew each one at a depth no one else could know surely spoke to His heart and revealed all to Him.
Because of that, His words were never trite, superficial, filled with religious prattle, or inconsequential.
The ordinary men He called to be His disciples appeared pale by comparison, especially at the outset. But over time after Jesus’s death, resurrection, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, we begin to see a change in them. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit begins to train them to see beyond what is clearly in front of them, to have faith for what they could not believe on their own.
Maybe they were developing God-listening hearts. I think the Lord was fine-tuning their listening so they could be more like Him. Perhaps that was central to what His Kingdom was and is to look like while we occupy waiting for Him.
In this world of self-centeredness, frenetic activity, and quick fix solutions, what could serve as a more phenomenal witness of Christ within us than to be one with a God-listening heart?
I think a God-listening heart hears differently because it hears not only what is spoken by the person or seen in the person, but also what is left unsaid or only touched upon.
To respond to that which the God-listening heart reveals is perhaps the greatest love gift any of us can receive. And such love transforms and heals, comforts and grants courage in the face of trials.
Do I have a God-listening heart?
Jesus is not physically here, but He is inside of us. I think He is calling us to have such a heart as His. Such a heart hears the checkout clerk at the grocery store differently, hears the seemingly casual conversation with the neighbor more astutely, and hears the heart of a friend when few words were spoken.
Are you a whisperer?
Let Jesus develop a God-listening heart within you and watch how He loves through you!