The Still, Small Voice

Recently I finished a book given to me by Sara to read called “Angels in the ER”. It is a book of true stories from the ER by physician Dr. Robert Leslie, from his perspective when he was an emergency room doctor. One story that I would like to share is from the chapter, “The Still, Small Voice.”


Dr. Leslie learned a valuable lesson one day from the family dog, Scooter, who was having a difficult time giving birth while his small children and wife looked on. Earlier in the morning, the ER doctor had called the family vet, concerned about their dachshund’s slow progress. He had delivered many babies, though he wasn’t an OB, and he knew something was wrong. The vet had told him that was typical for the long-backed breed and to expect some stillborn pups out of the litter. When he asked her what he was supposed to do about that, she said, “nothing…don’t do anything. Just let nature take its course.”
That answer didn’t sit well with him because he wasn’t trained to just stand by, watch and do nothing. When a pup came out not breathing and still…dead, he acted. Watching the concerned expressions on his families’ and dog’s faces, he told the dog he would see what he could do. The dog allowed him to pick up the pup and just watched. He noticed a slick, wet membrane on the puppy’s head, preventing her from breathing and he peeled it off. Then he suctioned the pup’s lungs with his own mouth and continued to do mouth to mouth resuscitation and chest compression. He had no idea how to do the latter…he just did what “felt right”. The pup’s mouth opened, she breathed, she yipped, she was “going to be fine”. He had to do this on two more pups and they were all fine. The family was elated and both family and Scooter were thankful.
Two weeks later he was faced with a similar situation. This time it was a mother ready to deliver a baby in ER when there was no time for an OB. The delivery he performed seemed to be going normal until the nurse brought something to his attention. “What in the world is that,” she asked? “And then an image flashed before my eyes and I suddenly remembered. Scooter.” The baby was covered with the same membrane (called an intact membrane) as the pup that would prevent her from breathing. Dr. Leslie had read and heard about this rare medical condition but never dealt with it. With a calm in his voice he instructed the nurse what to do and he peeled the membrane from the baby girl’s head and suctioned the nose and mouth with a bulb syringe. The baby cried loudly and was fine!
The nurse asked him how he knew to do this since he had not seen this before. This is the answer and the end of the story: “Later when it was again quiet, I would tell her. And Sheila would understand. This was not some fortuitous coincidence. I believe Einstein was wrong when he said that “coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” Our Creator doesn’t choose to remain unknown or in the background of our lives. He wants us to know Him, and to walk with Him, and to talk with Him. And if we will listen, He wants to talk with us. For that, this night, I was grateful.”

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17 thoughts on “The Still, Small Voice

  1. Interesting how this writer understands hearing and listening in lieu of how many of us view it. Some of us might think just sit and listen to idle chatter, etc. Hum, that’s not what I get from this story. I read listen, discern, get wisdom and act accordingly.

    Thanks Debi for the story….

  2. The scripture he ends his chapter with is good to think about also: “God does speak – now one way, now another – though man may not perceive it.” Job 33:14

  3. I agree.
    One thing I noticed about the Dr. Leslie stories in “The Still, Small Voice” chapter is that because the doctor obviously had a true concern,love for people and humility, he was able to perceive God’s voice. In another incident, the doctor was able to respond to and get a man who had collapsed in church in a pew back to the back with the ‘fireman’s carry’ and then attend to him. Earlier in church, the Lord had given him some ‘thoughts’ and a word of how to respond to an unrelated potential problem with another man. “I knew then that, while those thoughts about Willis (the other man/not the one who needed the help) had been mine, they had come from some other place. I had never done the fireman’s carry (that’s the word and remembrance the Lord gave him). I had never needed to – and to this day, I have never again performed it. On that particular day, however, John Stanford had needed some help, and I had been made an instrument. That was a humbling thought.”

  4. Intimacy with the Lord can only happen when we abide in the Vine. Andrew Murray wrote that” every day we must intentionally purpose in our hearts to abide in the Vine. We must intend to continue, every day, every moment to be aware of our intimacy with the Holy Spirit”

    This makes me think that if we continue in Him then we will hear His still, small voice in our daily lives. In whatever we are doing if we keep an awareness of Him, aware that Christ abides in us through the Holy Spirit and we in Him through the Holy Spirit, we WILL hear His voice for His sheep know His voice. We position ourselves and dispose ourselves to hear His leading, every day, every moment in every aspect of our lives, whether work, play, lunch, prayer, whatever we do. He has an opinion and it is TRUTH for us. If we are NOT hearing His voice very much then our position in the VINE is tenuous and we must rectify that quickly through repentance and renewed seeking, asking and knocking until the restoration of our intimate relationship with the Lord. if we would hear His voice harden not your hearts.. we will be able to do feats that bring honor and glory to the Father and not grief and shame to the Name of Jesus.

  5. “Hearing is a physical process. Listening is a cognitive, emotional skill,” according to a definition I read online. Listen means to heed and heed means to follow or mind and that says to me action.
    Mark 8:18 says opening your eyes and really hearing and understanding requires making a turn…doing something. Selective and distractive hearing could provide a convenient excuse/blockage for just not doing anything.

    “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving; for this people’s heart has become calloused;
    they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.
    Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.”

  6. Debi,
    I have the footnotes for verses 17 & 18, in Mark chapter 8. “Jesus rebuked the disciples for their hard hearts. Today the Hardhearts believe: (1) that poverty is always caused by laziness; helping the poor only enables them; (2) that worship is best conducted in one way –our way–which has worked very well for forty years, thank you, and need not be changed; (3) that evangelism doesn’t apply; people will never change anyway, so we don’t need to do it. Joining the Hardhearts requires only one pledge: You must refuse to listen to Jesus’ questions. Don’t be a Hartdheart. Be open to Christ’s truth. Let him soften your heart.”

  7. A lady broken of heart

    A couple of days ago as I went to lunch, I was shocked to see an ambulance and police cars at a store down the street. Everyone wanted to know what was happening at that store. I decided to take an alternative route for lunch to avoid the vehicles. Having eaten lunch, I was walking towards my car to go to work. A lady all bundled up from the cold came walking directly towards me. Suddenly she began to talk. I asked her if she knew what had been going on at the store in the strip mall center. She told me, “It was all about me, I couldn’t stop crying! I asked her why were you crying. She said, “Oh my dear, I am so disappointed in myself. I had a $50,000 dollar job and I lost it. I could make fantastic jewelry and I gave that up, I could knit and I gave that up. My dear she said, “You have so much going for you. I want to let you know that I let myself down.” She said see that police officer, she wants to talk to me at Starbucks and off she went as quick as she came by me. I must say she has not left my thoughts for a moment. I wonder just how many people find themselves in the same straits. I have lifted her up in prayer ever since as I know she may have let herself down, but God hasn’t and can do a turn in her life if only she lets him. God is her Valentine. He saw her cry and he can turn her life around. If only she chooses him as her Valentine.

  8. Oh my! She had an excellent paying job and gave it up? And skills in jewelry making and knitting and gave it all up. I wonder, for what?
    There is a mystery in this story. Well, several, to be truthful. The poor lady. May she find the Lord and may He heal her broken heart.

  9. Daily News tells us daily how many have lost their jobs? It is very difficult for ones with no jobs and losing their homes. And, not able to pay their bills. It would seem to me this would affect any of us. What ways can we help?

  10. IN WHAT WAYS CAN WE HELP?
    The Bible says weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. So when people are in the “winter of their discontent” as Sara describes in her book, DESIGNS OF ONE’S HEART we can sympathize with them, lend a listening ear. One author/pastor whose book I am reading says in his book THE DAY I DIED, that one friend stayed by him as he was clinging to life after a surgeon’s mistake in an operation on his gall bladder. This friend listened, did not tell him what to do, or how to think or give platitudes, but encouraged when he could and prayed with him and listened to him as he poured out his heart. No greater love has anyone than he lay down his life, or a little time, or a little listening, or a little fellowship for a friend. Jesus laid down His life even for us EVEN BEFORE we were His friends.
    I am sure there are other ways to help; 12 Step Groups; Bible studies; Church programs that minister especially to those in need of whatever source.
    Sara’s book describes seasons of the spiritual life that we all go through, spiritual seasons and temporal seasons, whether believers or non.

  11. We can try to help the person in need find the support they need by possibly directing them to someone who can give the necessary wisdom or counsel or medical help when struggling with emotional pain; maybe we have had a similar experience and have something to offer from that; or perhaps we can share any jobs or job resource info that we may be aware of.

  12. I think the lady in Rena’s story has lots of help if I understand. It is really great that our police dept was so able to help. We can be proud of our county/town police and rescue.

  13. This is a very interesting book Debi. I just think it is awesome that God showed the Dr. how to save a baby from the birth of puppies. How cool is that. Thanks for sharing. Rena, sounds like you were in the right place at the right time. God put you there to be a prayer warrior for that lady that lost her job.

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