I’ve spent much of my career working with students with learning disabilities. One of the most important aspects of this sort of teaching, is teaching them how to communicate. There are a few different ways to help where children cannot actually speak – such as signing, using symbols and pictures, as well as high tech gagets, to avoid the terrible frustration that can build up when someone cannot communicate their needs, wishes and opinions. (AAC or alternative and augmentative communication if you want to know more.)
I’ve also found that the best teaching is multisensory – not just sitting listening, but experiencing learning with all our faculties.
God is a communicative God – he created the world through speaking – “And God said…”. In John 1, the Word became flesh – Jesus. He came to communicate to us in person, what God looks, feels, sounds, even smells like. A multisensory, communicating God.
In Genesis 15 v 1, then again in v 4, the word of the Lord comes to Abram. Interesting that it came in a vision, so by definition, it couldn’t have been just a voice! A multisensory, communicating God.
It seems to me that God tries to make it easy for us to hear from him, but we often find it so hard to receive. Maybe in prayer we spend so much time talking to God that we forget to listen to him. And if God is a multisensory communicator, then his message to us may not simply be in words. We need to keep our eyes, ears, noses and everything else open in case he is speaking throught the ordinary, everyday things around us.