Before the bus carries them away, I reach a hand to the back seat to join the jumble of 20 fidgety fingers. We bow our heads, and thank God for spring a-comin’, and for teachers and for Lydia’s special day as “March Student of the Month.” We pray for that friend who used bad words, and for that boy who stuck out his tongue. And we don’t forget the people of Haiti and Chile.
And then comes this from a wee voice behind me: “Dear God, Please be with Mommy today when she’s all by herself.”
This used to scare me: The all-by-myself.
My deepest fear was that if left alone, I’d be deafened by silence. So I would put my world on Volume Max with the click-click of my high heels and the fast scratching of pencils at press conferences. I lived a megaphone life, afraid that in the silence I’d be faced with the gripping pain of my doubt.
I chased front-page stories, and byline glory, and surrounded myself with the noise of me, me, me. I was afraid that in the silence, my deepest doubts would scream loud like this: God is not real!
I feared that the absence of sound would prove the absence of God.
What if I asked Him in the silence to speak to me? And then, what if ….
What if I heard only my own desperate breathing?
But some questions are worth the risk of “what if.” For I found the answer in the silence with my soul laid bare five years ago on the floor of my bedroom closet. (Me, like a filthy rag next to the dirty-clothes hamper.) In the quiet, I asked the question.
My sister was here helping me during a rough time after the birth of our second child. She says I looked different when I walked out of the bedroom that day. That’s because I’d heard Him whisper in the Spirit voice: “I am real.”
All’s quiet here on this rainy morning, and I don’t need a megaphone life to survive this day. I no longer fear the silence of hours. Even more, I no longer fear the silence of God. I speak to Him, and sometimes hear only this …
Even still, even silent, I know He’s here.
Oh yes, He’s here.
Has God trusted you with a silence – a silence that is big with meaning? God’s silences are His answers. … If God has given you a silence, praise Him, He is bringing you into the great run of His purposes.”
— Oswald Chambers
Each Wednesday, I join Ann Voskamp and her community of pilgrims at Walk With Him Wednesday. This week, we consider Learning from Silence.
Friends, what have you learned in the silences?
Have you ever been scared of the quiet?