Monday, April 30, 2012

Silence: Absence of Mention

He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon!" Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20 NLT)

“Oh, in the time of silence when man remains alone, abandoned when he does not hear thy voice, it seems to him doubtless that the separation must last forever…

Bless then this silence as thy word to man; grant that he never forgets that thou speakest also when thou art silent; give him this consolation if he waits on thee, that thou art silent through love and that thou speakest through love, so that in thy silence as in thy word thou art still the same Father and that it is still the same paternal love that thou guidest by thy voice and that thou does instruct by the silence.” (Soren Kierkegaard)

Relent, O LORD! How long will it be?
Have compassion on your servants.
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.
(Psalm 90:13-15 NIV)


Silence is so deafening. How can it be that I strive to quiet myself and yet I cannot hear anything? I long for times of contemplation so I can hear from God, but lately the silence even outweighs my questions and longings, giving way to this awkwardness with God. What should I pray for now? I feel so lost and confused, almost as if this silence is full of invisible sounds drowning out the word I long to hear.

I turn to words. Yet something is missing. The old passion escapes me. I plow through the entries of the dictionary and no word seems to fit or light up my eyes and thrill my heart like it used to. It feels like something is missing. What am I looking for? I turn to Scriptures and read Psalm 119 for several days in a row, hoping for some spark of recognition. Of some deep yearning rekindled. Bits and scraps, but nothing satisfies my soul. My taste buds seem deadened.

Silence fills the void. I page through a collection of prayers and puzzle over this cumbersome reasoning from Kierkegaard about the silence of God having the same value and meaning as his words. Maybe I just need to sit in silence. Absorb. Wait. Breathe. Remember. Embrace the Unfailing Love.

I keep wondering if God forgot to mention that sometimes life has no answers. What it is that He is accomplishing right now? Have I not been paying close enough attention? I am troubled by this time, where everything around me seems to be falling apart, instead of being built up and restored like He promised.

To trust during His seeming absence, I must wait in silence upon the LORD.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hope: To Expect with Confidence

Shattered Hope. Broken down ideas about life. What will restore my hope?

An Empty Tomb!

And the Empty Cross becomes an emblem for more HOPE!

I have been silent these past forty days. Not on purpose. Life just took over. I was observing Lent. I didn't plan to fast from blogging, but it happened. I did give something up. I chose to "Be not anxious." My hope in giving up anxious thoughts was to replace them with peaceful ones. The challenging thing about giving something up and asking God to replace it with something else is that you have to practice.

Often over the past forty days, I was bombarded with anxiety producing situations. How did I do? Sometimes I yielded my anxious attitude to God's peace, and other times I failed.

It has been a journey. And today I woke up before the sun to capture some moments on my camera. I didn't see the sun rise, but I did see the moon reflecting the sun.

Sara Groves sings a song about how the moon reflects the sun on her album, Add to the Beauty. The song is called You are the Sun. Her lyrics give me restored hope, not in my ability to do anything, but the hope that as God's love shines on me it will be reflected in my life.

You are the sun shining down on everyone
Light of the world giving light to everything I see
Beauty so brilliant I can hardly take it in
And everywhere you are is warmth and light

And I am the moon with no light of my own
Still you have made me to shine
And as I glow in this cold dark night
I know I can't be a light unless I turn my face to you

(Lyrics from You are the Sun by Sara Groves)