Saturday, June 27, 2009

Keeping silence

My mind is racing with news from friends and church family. Bad news. Tough news. Difficult problems. How do we get from birth to death without giving up?

There is no answering sentence, no bible verse, no thought taking shape in my mind. Just silence.

At first, it is uncomfortable silence. I do not like to be with people who are in such misery, such tangles. I want to feel successful, happy, cared for. I want to think that others are in control of their lives, and that I am in control of mine.

The silence does not last. I don't stay quiet long there. I want to be able to help, to make phone calls, complain, order people around and eventually send them down a dry and level path that was there all along. There is an edge to my voice. I am imperious in my wisdom. Imperious and completely ineffective.

"The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him!" (Habakkuk 2.20)

Silence. Where God lives.

Silence. Where God receives the saints whose mortal life has come to an end.

Silence. Where God listens to the prayers of those who feel helpless.

Silence. Where the Creator suffers with the beloved creatures.

When death or madness or majestic upheavals rise in front of us, each moment becomes more clear, more poignant, more transcendent. Ideas have substance. Random thoughts no longer skitter about the surface of the mind. All seems to fit together. Perhaps a brain researcher could point to an area in the brains that is active, that is itself creating this sense of the sacred. Perhaps perception is heightened to allow the mind to regain a sense of control.

Or perhaps God is present. That silence is the one I must seek, before I venture forth to serve.

2 comments:

Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

Habakkuk tells us to be silent before Him. That doesn't necessarily mean it's quiet.

His promises are contained in His Word, the Word which would be made flesh, crucified for our atonement, and risen for our victory. The cross is bigger than our sins, even death. This is his Son, of whom God is well pleased. We listen to him.

I will pray for you in your troubles. In the meantime, confess, be absolved, and believe the Gospel. You are worth much more than the sparrows God dresses. The Son of God died for you. And if you're feelings tell you otherwise, that's our struggle with sin that will be relieved from us upon this death and at the last day. He's judged, the deed is done.

Peace.

Gwen said...

I don't think Dan quite gets what I am saying about my experience. I'm not saying God is silent, but that God is present in silence, when we have nothing to say. That seeking that silence, rather than pat answers like "have faith, it's God's will, etc.." is sometimes the best way to be with people in trouble or in grief, the best way to let God tell you how to serve in that situation.