One of the things I like to do Sunday afternoon is reflect on the scriptures for the week. One of the scriptures for this last Sunday was 1 Kings 19:18, the story of Elijah fleeing from Jezebel into the desert. In the New Revised Standard Version it reads:
Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stoood at the entrace of the cave.
How do we hear silence and when we do what makes us want to respond by going out of the caves in which we have hidden in order to listen to God?
We live in a world that is full of noise. This morning I am writing to the sound of Tom vacuuming in the background on top of the ever present traffic noise. Silence is hard to find in our world and most of us don’t know how to listen or hear what it is saying to us. But if we sit in stillness and reach deep within our hearts there we can always find the silence of God – not a silence that makes us ask Why can’t I hear the voice of God? nor is it a silence that blocks out the world around us. Rather it is a silence that resonates with the peace and joy and love that can only be found when we walk close to God. It is a silence that calls us to intimate relationship with the creator of the universe. And it is a silence that calls us each day to move out into God’s world in compassion and love.
Another one of the scriptures was Matthew 14:22-33 Thinking about both of these today this prayer/poem welled up within my heart.
Christ you come to us
Not in the wind and storm
Not in the earthquake and fire
But in the sound of sheer silence
A breath of calm that stills the sea
And calls to my heart
Be not afraid peace be still
Come walk on the water
Follow me across the waves
No task is impossible, no pain unbearable
When I hold your hand
And peace shall be the pathway for your feet