"I am large. I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Friday, July 10, 2009

Silence


I've been reading - nay, savoring - the book that my best friend Zippy sent me entitled "Tell It Slant"by Eugene Peterson. And today, our team had the day off and it felt like a great time to relax with the book, lie down on my new day bed and listen to some soothing music. Plus, it's a muggy afternoon, perfect for reflection.

The book is about words and it's about The Word. It's about "the sanctity of words, the holy gift of language, regardless of whether it is directed vertically or horizontally. Just as Jesus did."

It is a book after my own heart. And I am forever indebted to Zippy for sending it my way.

And as I was reading the book, I couldn't help but think of a number of you whom I've been praying for. Some of you who've asked for prayers and those of you who have not but it felt right for me to whisper a prayer for you nonetheless. Sometimes, we are sorely unaware of how much we need or want others to pray for us. Sometimes, we ask for prayers even when we think we're not asking. Asking doesn't always require a question mark.

I just wanted to share a few grafs from the book on God's silence. Because those of us who pray are no strangers to His silence. Lest we be prone to interpret it as our Father withholding His love, I think it's a good reminder to us all (at least to me) that His silence isn't usually the denial of our heart's desires. And there are days when I need to be reminded of that.

Today is one of those days.

People who pray are deeply experienced in God's silence. People who pray know what it is like to hear nothing in response. They don't get what they ask for when they ask for it. People who pray ask 'How long?' and 'Why?' a lot.

The unanswered questions we raise, along with whatever silences occur, once we see them integrated into the all-embracing story of the good, rescuing, welcoming God, rather than diminishing our basic trust, extend it beyond the margins of what we are able to take in.

That is why we keep praying and do not lose heart. We know that neither silence nor absence is evidence of contempt or indifference.

In the words of Evagrius the Solitary:

Often when I have prayed I have asked for what I thought was good, and persisted in my petition, stupidly importuning the will of God, and not leaving it to Him to arrange things as He knows is best for me. But when I have obtained what I asked for, I have been very sorry that I did not ask for the will of God to be done; because the thing turned out not to be as I have thought... Do not be distressed if you do not at once receive from God what you ask. He wishes to give you something better - to make you persevere in your prayer. For what is better than to enjoy the love of God and to be in communion with Him?


(Photo credit: Marcin Mazurkiewicz Fotoblog)

2 comments:

bluggerbug said...

I trust that you've said a prayer for me. Thank you!

Here's something that a tita of mine posted on FB. It's something along the lines of what you just shared.

"When All Else Fails, Wait.......When all else fails....wait on GOD. Is that your perspective when faced with a problem that simply defies solution? If you can't do anything more, when all other revenues have been tried and all other sources of help have been exhausted, then wait on GOD. Cease not to pray, and if the answer tarries, wait... GOD will come,and HE will never come too late.... Psalm 62 Bible daily 07/07"

Mayang said...

You and your family. Your friend who can't go home to take care of his ailing mom. And his mom too.

Thanks for this post, Bluggerbug. I am usually ok with waiting. God knows I've waited a long while for a lot of things. Some days it's easy. There are those that are not. Just part of the deal.

"God will come and He will never come too late." That's so reassuring.

Hugs!

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