Silent stars go by

One of the hardest things for me to get my head around is that there is no sound in space. Giant asteroids smashing into one another, quietly. Supernovas exploding, noiselessly. All that space and not a peep. Somehow, when I look at the stars there seems to be a silence that falls from the night sky from all that space up there.

This week I’m thinking about silence, and how important silence is for living faithfully on God’s blue planet. I’m wondering about you. Where is there silence in your life? For some silence is hard to find…toddlers yell and scream, teenagers play drums, noisy neighbours are never far away. For some people in our congregation, the house is painfully quiet because a son or daughter has moved away, or a loved one has died. Between friends there is companionable silence, but then there can also be stony silence. Silence is something that some of us are looking for, and for some of us, silence happens only when the power goes out!

Silence before God is something that is an essential part of the spiritual life. Otherwise it’s like a friendship in which one person chatters on and on…it’s a friendship with shallow roots, because the other person never gets a word in edgewise! Silence in congregational worship is also important. We stop talking, stop singing, stop doing and just wait on God. Our Quaker brothers and sisters can teach us something about this…they’ll have whole services where the group sits in silence, listening for God, waiting for God’s voice.

This week you can make a choice. Walk out the door, leaving behind other people, the TV and the radio, empty out the pockets so you’re not burdened by cellphone or ipod and walk a few steps into the forest or field. At night, look up into the darkness where the silent stars go by. Is there enough silence in your life to hear what you need to hear?

This week’s prayer: Help me to crave silence like water, silence that fills my soul with your quiet presence. Silence like living water.

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