Monday, February 6, 2012

The Gift of Silence

   Learning to listen in the silence. Learning to be silent. Learning to just be. Learning that stillness can be a form of worship. I am undertaking a spiritual directions group with a small group of women, something this middle-aged woman has never done before. I have been in Bible Studies off and on for thirty something years. I have diligently filled notebooks with pages of notes, completed the blanks in workbooks, read countless Christian books and devotionals, memorized scripture, and invested time, energy, prayer and devotion learning all that I could about my Savior and Lord. 
    However, it was not until I began this group that I have begun to realize just how busy I have been. For days upon end and years upon years I have been busy, busy, busy. It's a busyness of the soul, fed by this information everywhere, instant gratification, and privileged lifestyle we lead. Now I am learning about a different type of devotion. One that does not require an extension of energy on my part. It is even different from waiting. It is resting. It is stretching me in ways that I have never been stretched before. 
   This is not easy for me. There are days when the stillness and the silence are deafening. There are days when they are comforting and healing. There are days when I run right back to my old emotionally energetic ways. 
    But I am learning. I am learning that there is a new way to worship. 
The words of the prophet Habakkuk are taking on a new meaning for me, "The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silent before him." 
    Thomas a' Kempis also obviously understood this type of worship: 
"Thou brightness of eternal glory, thou comforter of the pilgrim soul, with thee is my tongue without voice, and my very silence speaketh unto Thee.  Come, oh, come; for without Thee I shall have no joyful day or hour; for Thou art my joy, and without thee my table is empty,  Praise and glory be unto Thee; let my mouth, my soul, and all creatures together, praise and bless Thee."

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