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The Sound of Silence

How hard do you have to listen to hear nothing? It can be a challenge as the more you strain to hear nothing, no birdsong, no passing footsteps, no breathing noises, so too we become distracted. We lose the sound of silence - nothingness of complete motionless energy.

Can you remember such a total and complete silence? The person with tinnitus hears constantly noises creaks and groans etc. The deaf person doesn't necessarily hear nothing, but in a mute world, hears internal and imaginary sounds. I remember, following surgery in Oxford as a tiny child, stopping in Cirencester on the way home and hearing the church bells for the first time and being terrified by the huge raging sound. It was like nothing I had previously experienced. As an adult I love the sounds of bells being tolled.

How hard do we listen out for sound? Talking with Penny Snowden on Ascension day as we walked past the brook into church and I asked her if she thought the waters sounded like talking, babbling, rushing with urgency at times. Sound can distort interrupt our thoughts or loud music help form our opinions and musings.

In Scripture the voice calls us to "be still and know that I am God." (Psa 46:10). In the rush of life, the voice of God is easily drowned out sometimes accidentally and sometimes deliberately. In Kings the familiar story of Elijah:

11“Go out and stand before me on top of the mountain,” the LORD said to him. Then the LORD passed by and sent a furious wind that split the hills and shattered the rocks — but the LORD was not in the wind. The wind stopped blowing, and then there was an earthquake — but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12After the earthquake, there was a fire — but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire, there was the soft whisper of a voice.

How often are we still and really listen? Did we offer sufficient time in quietness with God this morning or did we drown God out?

Make time today to be quiet, alone with God in "our nook." Don't be afraid of silence; don't be afraid of an encounter with God, which might be unexpected and different. Listen through the daily noises, don't over listen' don't hold back, and allow your soul to sing. What is God saying to you now? What is He asking of you today?

Silence Surrendered - Margaret Razza

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