Lent - The sound of silence
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."
~ Psalm 19: 14
I wish that I could say that I have always been a fan of silence, but that would be far from the truth.
Even as far back as a young child, my first transistor radio would play at all hours of the day and night. I can remember listening to the local AM farm report so that I would know how to dress before heading out to feed our cattle in the morning, and what to wear to school when the school bus arrived by 6:45 am.
The radio operated on four "C" batteries that I would buy from KMart when we would go into town. I carried the radio with me all the time, including when I checked our fence line after a storm, or was sitting next to the creek.
I guess I was about twelve when I lost the "privilege" of having that radio when I failed to listen to what my stepfather was saying to me. The radio was taken away from me, and I never saw it again. It was as if I had lost a friend, but more than that, I was left in silence.
I just remember not knowing what to do. I would sing familiar songs, and sometimes when really silent, I would pick up my guitar and strum out a tune. I didn't know how to react to the silence.
I guess in some ways I should thank him. In those quiet hours I would write, draw, and begin to talk to God in a new way. I began to have conversations with God, often telling God what I was thinking, and hoping for.
All of a sudden, the life that had been filled with constant sound, was being changed into something different. I was learning to have a relationship with God, and I was learning to be comfortable with "me."
I have often thought about what the world would be like without the constant noise that surrounds us. Automobiles zooming. Announcers breaking news, and selling products we must have. Politicians making promises, and planes soaring above among silent drifting clouds.
I think it's interesting in scripture that it is not until the storm is crashing that the Disciples call out to God to bring peace and silence. It is up to us to seek the silence and the calm in order to hear God's voice.
We start with us. Scripture reminds us that we are the beginning. Our words, our thoughts and our actions are the beginning of God's presence in our life, and demonstrates that presence to others. While the world seeks to gain our attention each day, the need for silence beckons to bring us closer to God.
May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be the beginning of peace and God's presence to and for one another.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2020
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Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.