Secretly we spoke,
that wise one and me.
I said, Tell me the secrets of the world.
He said, Sh… Let silence
Tell you the secrets of the world.
Be still and know that I am God.
Elijah was unable to hear the voice of God until the din of the world died away.
I sit here in silence and I am afraid. I want distraction, noise. I want to turn on the radio, click on the television, anything to keep the silence at arms length.
I fear what I might hear. I am afraid of what might be asked of me or what I may have to confront.
I considered the subject of silence a year ago. I posted my thoughts in the form of a poem which I’ve re-posted today at Journey of Words which encapsulates some of my fear.
But is that not what we are asked to do?
Are we not asked, commanded even, to “be still”, to listen. We see all through scripture encounters with God, guidance being given in silent times. Proverbs speaks of the wisdom of silence, Job admonishes his friends to be silent, angels appear to those who are quiet even sleeping and dreaming.
And so our dear friend L.L. asks us to be silent. Be silent and listen. Listen to what is around and allow the poem to form and I do this in spite of my fears. And words come in slow gestation. Laboring and pushing through the muck of life to come into the world and share their secrets.
Secrets come to me and take shape and form:
Breath of Silence
the blades of the fan
on the windowsill
through the dark
bringing cool humid
into the room
makes the slightest of
as I watch her chest
rise and fall slowly
in the dim light
from the bare bulb
in the hall.
I kiss her sweaty forehead,
(or is it said that girls glow?)
and smooth the
twisted sheet over
her small body and
remember a time
when she could fit
fully on my forearm
and would gaze at me,
looking deep into
calling me to
be the father
In the dark silence
of a hall I
And now it is your turn. Go and sit. Allow the silence to wash you clean of distraction so that you may be able to listen, hear, and create.
So beautiful, Eric! I felt I was there with you, listening too. Not only to her, but to your heart-thoughts.
Love, love, love this, Eric! Of course, the poetry makes me swoon. But I needed that reminder to be still today too.
Being still, being silent is some of the hardest work God calls me to do.
It’s one of my favirotie parts of “God in the Yard.” And Eric — your prose here is like poetry.
Beautiful. Just beautiful.
I’m reading Francis Chan’s Crazy Love right now. Probably one of the last people to do so. His first chapter, “Stop Praying,” grabbed my heart.
“What if I told you to stop talking at God for a while, but instead to take a long, hard look at Him before you speak another word? . . . Lets begin this book by gazing at God in silence,” he says.
Go to creation and create.
I already knew this having been in the yard for so long . . .
Beautiful poem! I loved this post, and the quote from Rumi. I have found my faith transformed by my time with God in silence. I love connecting with others that have had similiar experiences. Great post 🙂