Quiet — real quiet, is a rare occurrence. Even when we are alone, noise envelops us, distracting our senses. The air conditioner kicks on, the dogs meander about, a neighbor calls out to another down the street… The world does not stop.
Silence is supposed to be golden. And yet when we are in it, we are restless. We reach for our phones, we try to fill our minds with something - anything - so that we can avoid doing the very thing that I believe silence is intended to do, and that is center us. Silence draws us in. It causes us to listen for the knocking of our soul.
I used to watch those shows about Alaska. You know the ones — they feature people who live in the deep frozen wilderness, sustaining life on what they hunt and whatever remedies they improvise to get them through without the assets and conveniences of everyday life. I was fascinated by these people and the lengths that they would go to ensure their aloneness, immersed in a quiet I could not comprehend.
If it were me, I wonder what would I think about? Would I hear more clearly the voice of God? Would my spirit soar to meet the heavens, as the stars — acutely visual without the distortion of society and pollution — show me things I could not imagine? Or would I be swallowed up in the vast expanse of it all?
There is something about the quiet that we both yearn for and fear. We want to sense the closeness of God, yet there is unease in what He might tell us. Is He happy with our efforts in this life? Does He have something that He would have us do differently? Become? Impart to others?
Proverbs 19:22 says “What a man desires is unfailing love.” In this world, with all it’s impurities and distractions, we forget this. There are so many layers that obscure us from what pure love truly is. We have watered down versions that justify and qualify sin so that it doesn’t seem wrong. We lie and manipulate and pervert righteousness so as to make it palatable to the masses. So much so, that we seem unable to recognize truth anymore.
There is only one love that will not fail us. And in the stillness, in the quiet, it whispers to us “I am here.”
Like the noise that infiltrates our heads, everything that is not love infiltrates our hearts. We are bombarded by rudeness, by gestures of offense and impatience, by gadgets and infomercials that promise happiness but only add to our unease. There is tolerance for every conceivable acceptance of sin, but not for God.
How sad is this?
The remedy, if there is one, is in understanding we can only create a space within our own atmosphere, our own quietness, to hear what God would tell us. We know, as His children, that He would want for us to be guided — not by the world — but by what He wants for us. His love conquers fear. His love endures. His love heals. His love dwells within us and is meant to share with others. His love is good and kind and merciful.
Can you hear it? The whisper that calls each of us to not be distracted from doing what we know we should. We are to be who God calls each of us to be. We are to stand in righteousness, forgive and be forgiven, and not be swayed by the world’s version of what life is all about.
Listen deeply to the quiet and know that God is there. Know that He is love. Know that He is truth. Know that the One who beats your heart is always with you.
Be still and know that He is God.