A friend was driving to work listening to Radio 2 and Adele began singing ‘Hello’. My friend, who had heard the song a number of times before, found herself overcome with emotion as she heard God’s voice reach out to her in that word of greeting. She had to pull the car over to absorb the moment.
‘Hello’. I love that God might just say ‘Hello’.
No reason to think he might not – Jesus would have certainly used the equivalent words to acknowledge and welcome someone in his days in Galilee. His words would have been a form of ‘Peace be with you’ that’s still used all over the Middle East. There’s something so simple, so homely, so ‘alongside’ in that word that I’ve started saying it myself sometimes to God, as I’m driving, or walking… just to remind myself he is there and I am there and we are both there together. It always makes me smile inside, and it’s very restful. It’s like being with someone you know very well and you don’t have to say anything to be comfortable with them; there’s just an understanding and a contentment on both sides in each other’s company.
It frees the conversation of any kind of performance or striving or contractual dialogue. It’s just coming together and being, particularly when your mind is free and you’re doing something that’s not quite prayer and not quite rest and not quite work. I get the sense too that God likes almost being taken for granted – wants just to be there, not the celebrity focus, just one of us.
On another front, it’s amazing how the Spirit of God is reaching out through pop culture to connect with people who don’t get on with church as it is. God won’t stop singing even if we, the church, can’t catch the tune others need to hear. God won’t stop calling people outside the church who are hungry for connection. We need to pick up the mood music and join in. I’m grateful to Adele for her openness to the Spirit that enabled my friend’s encounter.