Trains aren’t the only thing that travel at Grand Central Station.
If you ever visit the lower level of the world-famous landmark in New York, you might spot something strange. “Why are those people standing in the corner talking to the wall?” you’d wonder. The answer? An architectural phenomenon called The Whispering Gallery.
Tucked down in the domed walkways of the station lies a remarkable acoustic oddity where whispers travel across perfectly-shaped arches. Yes, for real. If you whisper into one corner, your friend standing in another corner, way across the hall, will hear it. (Science!)
But the thing that really blows my mind is that no matter how large or chaotic the bustling crowds become, as long as you’re listening closely with your ear pressed against the wall, you can still hear that whisper, however soft it may be. Stand one or two feet away from the wall, and you won’t.
This is how I think of God’s voice.
If I can’t hear Him, it’s not because He isn’t speaking. It’s because I’m too far away.
Now, we know our God can get loud. There are plenty of stories in scripture where God’s voice is likened to thunder, like when He answered Moses on the mountaintop. But, at least for me, when He speaks to my heart, He uses His “inside voice.” Why? Because He wants me to lean in closer.
Sure, He could yell, make a scene, or point fingers at me from His throne saying, “Now you listen, and you listen good.” After all, He’s got the power. But if you haven’t noticed by now, our God is an intentional God. He doesn’t move, reach, touch, or speak without a reason behind it. So even when I cry out to Him in all my dramatic ways, I know He responds softly with purpose.
Now, hearing God’s voice isn’t always as easy as, say, flipping on a podcast or calling up a friend. (Though, how cool would that be? “Hello, God? Whatcha doin? Healing the blind? Saving souls? Sounds about right.”)
It can be especially hard when there are other voices in our heads competing for attention. I know for me personally, Mr. Negativity likes to hog the air waves up there. Doubt steals the show every once in a while. And Anxiety? Anxiety just stands there with a megaphone as if He’s got nowhere to be. Like, come on guys. Can ya not?
And if it’s not one of those old friends, it’s any range of voices from the ones on social media to (honestly?) my own.
I call it spiritual static—when I’m halfway tuned in but not quite lining up with His signal.
So how do we cut through the noise?
I don’t have the perfect answer, but as a start, I’ve challenged myself to find my own whispering gallery—the place I’m gonna go when I need to hear Him loud and clear. A place that stands apart from the surrounding commotion of city life. A place for just me and my God and all of our traveling whispers.
It’s just like He tells us to “go in our closets” and pray. I’m sure most of us don’t actually go in our closets (my 200-square-foot apartment won’t even allow this). But again, there’s a reason He said this. It’s the easiest way to connect.
So far, this “gallery” has been my yoga mat. But yours may be different. It might be in multiple places. Or a place of motion like your car or daily walk. Preferably with no phones, TVs, or kids (if humanly possible).
Whatever it is for you, label it your Whispering Gallery, and try it along with me. Let’s see if we can have God’s whisper become the loudest voice in our lives.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.