Something about silence

Something about silence

Did you watch the Pope on the news as he visited Auschwitz? It was momentous for me.

I remember the day I walked through those iron gates brandishing the words: “WORK SETS YOU FREE.”

I also remember walking for three hours with the guide, never uttering a single word, but re-living the obvious devastation, fear, horror and torrid cruelty in every step we made. In such a place words are inadequate to describe feelings, and silence was the only expression of the acknowledgment of the past experienced in the present.

That visit in 2009 changed my life forever. My husband and I went home different people, neither of us could tell you in words how or why that visit changed us, it just did.

From that day on, my gratitude for life and freedom was cherished.

Seeing that scene again shocked me. God spoke. I needed a shakeup.

I had been feeling such pain, loneliness, and confusion over the previous months. My heart has had this dull aching that I just couldn’t shift no matter how many times I played music, sang my favourite old church choruses or prayed for peace and revelation.

It began as I read endless media and individual accounts, views, opinions and rantings on so many levels: radicalism, racism, politics, global warming, refugees, displacement, power seeking regimes, character assassination, and financial instabilities. Some true perhaps, but much just thrown out there to stir up a reaction and build walls of distrust.

Above all, the words had started to take root in me, taking away my respect, integrity, and Grace. My mind and soul had submitted to the endless chattering through media wavelengths, the chaotic ramblings of ignorance and fear, the world at war with itself, my freedom threatened.

That night after watching the news, I was jolted back in time. Sleep wouldn’t come; my mind was racing as was my heart. How had I forgotten the power of silence?

Silence isn’t just an effort toward relaxation or an escape from modern layers of business, but a reconnection with your inner self. In some regard, a reconnection with what is most natural, most essential to finding peace.

Silence, of course, can never have full claim on our days, but I certainly needed just being in that place I had found in Auschwitz. I needed a meeting with the Spirit of God, healing for my body, soul, and spirit, in the still quietness of silence.

Daily demands had drained me. The world’s chatter had thrown me into chaos.

There are many times in the Bible that we are told that Jesus secluded himself from others and the world, seeking solitude and silence. He knew the power of being in the presence of his Father, of being one with the Spirit and standing alone but not in loneliness.

I knew what I had to do; I also knew that the enemy would put many obstacles in my way: work, family, holidays.

I was determined, nothing would stop me.

In the dead of the night, I met with my God.

I knew that there were no expectations on me, no recriminations of forgetting how great my God was, no condemnation for losing hope or faith. There was just that special feeling of being surrounded by his presence.

Gradually, the frantic thoughts, feelings and trembling eased.

Silence. Feeling the solace; imbibing its security; stilling my mind, and allowing my body to relax into the cushion of His peace. Being surrounded by God’s Grace. Tossing aside all the noise, all the negativity, and all the chaos. Reaching out to touch the spirit of God, cocooning myself in the strength of his silence and stillness.

Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.

Mark 14:36

Jesus’ most powerful words before his crucifixion.

God is all knowing, is wisdom, is faith, is grace but more importantly MY  Father.

He spoke in that silence.

“Be still and know that I AM GOD.”

Each step I took away from my time in silence, was a step towards a new journey in my life, some of those steps I had travelled before, forgotten under all the distractions of a world in turmoil, but now strengthened in remembrance of the promises of God.

Clearly above the exit of my silent place, God reminded me once again: “TRUTH SETS YOU FREE”

I have found my SILENCE

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