11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rents the mountains, and brakes in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake:
12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?
God’s voice was not in the strong wind, the earthquake, or the fire, but in the still small voice — a whisper. Winds, earthquakes, and fires are dominating, impossible to ignore, and destructive. Whispers are subtle, requiring the listener’s focus.
Seth Godin, an international speaker, and bestselling writer, summarizes this beautifully. Consider the following as it relates to communicating.
The problem with shouting is that it pushes people away. WHEN YOU SHOUT IN EMAIL, IT SEEMS ANGRY. Shouting creates a wall between us and the person at the other end (even though it seems like many people, sooner or later, there’s one person at the other end).
Shouting destroys intimacy, and it hurts our impact, the impact that comes from authenticity.
We feel speech and words long before we hear the words, and we hear the words long before we understand them.
The solution is simple: whisper.