Dec 11: Times of Silence

Author: Rachel H├ębert
December 11, 2019

This past year has utterly transformed me—during it I have experienced the devastating depths of grief, the height of joy, personal endurance and determination, and the insanity of traveling 14 times over the span of 11 months.

Between grief, joy, determination, and travel, I have spent a significant amount of time in silence, more often than not following a trip, a memorial service, or a time with loved ones. It is this sacred moment of feeling so deeply connected with others, God, and creation that sound would ruin this deep-seated connection. I am both alone but profoundly connected. I am both in silence but listening to my vast array of thoughts. 

I went to Henri Nouwen to help make some sense of these times of silence bringing about a deeper sense of peace with God and the world around me. Nowen names that Jesus does not respond to our worry-filled ways of living by telling us not to be busy, or to pull away from people or activities, or suggest we withdraw from the struggles of the world. No, instead, he points out that Christ commands, “Set your hearts on God’s kingdom first…and all these other things will be given to you” (Matt. 6:33), and that by shifting our point of gravity to God’s kingdom, it means leading a “spiritual life [that] does not remove us from the world but leads us deeper into it.” 

Lord, I do not pretend to understand how many juxtapositions can fit together—lamb and lion, centering ourselves in your kingdom and going deeper into the world, peace working through silence to bring about deeper connections. Grant me a heart willing to ponder and contemplate the many ways in which peace brings deeper connection with you, ourselves, and the world. Amen. 
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