Elijah was no stranger to the spectacular: Drought at his word, ravens bringing food, flour and oil that didn't run out, fire from heaven burning up not only the sacrifice, but even the stone altar and the soil around it. And yet, 41 days after slaughtering the prophets of Baal, he's hiding in a cave on Mount Horeb.
"Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD," God says, "for the LORD is about to pass by." More spectacular stuff: A "great and mighty wind", an earthquake, and a fire... And then, the utter opposite of these violent eruptions, variously translated as "a gentle whisper", "the sound of a gentle breeze", "a still small voice", or "a quiet, gentle sound": Think of those strange windless days when you're not sure if that sound was the softest of breezes or just your imagination. When Elijah heard it, he knew; and he finally understood that Yahweh is not primarily the God of fire and fury. He is the God of quiet, abiding Presence; the God of absolute power under absolute control; unperturbed by the raging of mortals or the paralysing fear gripping His runaway servant.
Elijah was never the same again. When we get quiet enough to hear the footsteps in the wind, we will also leave Mount Horeb as changed people.