Monday, December 12, 2011

I keep going back to the same place


I began a book entitled Holy Silence this morning. All was calm. All was quiet here on the home front. I snuck down into the living room before anyone else was awake, plugged in the Christmas tree and opened my heart to a new understanding of silence.

Silence leads us to wait. Waiting leads us to the real presence of Jesus. The real presence leads us to holy awe. Holy awe leads us to a life lived out of spiritual silence. That life leads to "unhurried pace and power," wrote Thomas Kelly. "It is simple. It is serene. It is triumphant. It is radiant. It takes no time, but it occupies all our time... And when our little day is done, we lie down quietly in peace, for all is well." Indeed, all manner of things is well. (pages 33-34)

Even as I type those words, I know that all is not well in the world. Wars continue to rage. Poverty overwhelms more people on a daily basis. Children lost. Illnesses diagnosed. Homelessness grows unabated. Sorrow abounds. Pleas for help go unheeded. I heard a story on NPR today about the ongoing horrors of nuclear spillover and leaks in Japan. Thousands there are still homeless. Towns abandoned and barricaded. The nuclear power plant that exploded has yet to be completely sealed, contained, and not only the temperature but also the radiation levels in the plant remain above safe levels. The argument can easily be made that all manner of things for all manner of people is not well.

But still.

But still, when I am able to find time, when I make time for silence, for prayer, for quietude, for awe, for radiance, for simplicity, I emerge from those times of withdrawal better able to respond to the sorrows that surround me, better able to handle the challenges of my life and those that have befallen my dearly beloved friends and family members, better equipped to face the noise and the funk in the world.

During the darkest days of my life, during my childhood, my college days, my years as a new mother, and in the more recent past, when I grieved my father's death, when I raged against my daughter's illness, when I worried about the outcome of my call-back mammograms, whenever I have faced the terrors that we all face at one time or another, I have found deeper reserves of strength, of courage, of determination after I burrow into silence, secret myself away into solitude, and create time to sit still.

I keep going back to the same place.
Alone with The Alone.
Silent with The Word.


Lisa said...


GailNHB said...

Amen, indeed, Lisa. Thanks for coming back to these same places with me and for welcoming me into new places in our friendship and in our lives. It is good to have times of solitude and silence - and it is great to reconnect and share our stories from the road.

Take good care of yourself, my dear friend.