We've become such a noisy people, and with all our noise, we hear so little.

We talk and laugh and sing and shout and increase the volume of our radios and television sets and mp3 players in order to hear over the other "chatter" of life that pulsates and pounds at our ears and our minds and our hearts.       

We’ve nearly lost our appreciation for gentle silence.

And yet so often, it is in the silence that God speaks. When we’re calmed and quieted, when we’re hushed and serene, somehow, that “still, small Voice” can be discerned: The Voice that is so easily drowned by the sheer    Volume of Life.

I have grown quiet in the past several weeks. In the stillness and silence I’ve groped for something to say, something to produce, something to offer in this little column, but for all my investigations into this subject or that theme, I have heard nothing . . . but silence.

I stood a few days ago on the banks of a cold, flowing river in Alaska. It was early morning; the day had not yet   been imprinted with Noise and I stood silently, watching, gazing, observing. Looking above, the high snows of a mountain’s summit shimmered in pure and blazing white, untouched by the footprint of man or the detritus of creation’s creation. At my feet, like a magnet a current pulled at waters flowing from the lake above me to the ocean below me.

I listened to the quiet, and in hearing the indiscernible, perceived a hush of wind, whispering through the thick pine        forest just across the river.

And I thought of the unchangeableness of the sound of the wind in the trees. A hundred years ago, the sound was     the same; a thousand years ago, from the time the first forest grew upward on the ridgeline above, the sound had      not changed. What I heard, standing there on an April’s morning in 2005 was heard by passing bears, moose, swans and geese for a millennia. I was not alive, was not conceived and the Sound had remained the same. Kings and Rulers and Potentates rose and faded and disappeared and the Sound remained the same.

In all of the time of history’s passing, the Sound never changed.

And standing there, with nothing but His creation around me I “heard” the Voice, still, small, persistent; ". . . Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”

And standing along that riverbank, in the early morning light and silence, I thought I heard another voice; an anthem, a choir, a song:

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

What does one say when there is nothing to say - When  there is nothing to declare, nothing to announce, nothing  to proclaim?

What does one do when God’s silence preaches a sermon louder and more powerful than any human     voice ever pronounced?

Along a riverbank, in the midst of the silence, booming out of the cavity of nothingness, exploding from the hush of emptiness, His Voice speaks when He is not speaking . . .

“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”   

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with    whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

There is no problem, no difficulty, no circumstance beyond His knowing about or out of reach of His hand to repair, to heal, to resolve.

What does one say, when there is nothing to say?

In His Grace,

Greg

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