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This I Believe: God is in the Silence

This I Believe: God is in the Silence


Friday, January 15, 2016

I Kings 19:11-12

The Lord said to Elijah, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came the quiet of silence.

There is a fancy word they teach you in seminary for those moments when God shows up in lightening, thunder, clouds, chariots, and any other spectacular way.  The word is “theophany”.


I King 19 is filled with these moments of God’s theophoric entries.  But in the end, in this story, God does not show up with the pyrotechnic panache used elsewhere.  In I Kings God shows up in the silence.


The noise of our world seems to have drowned out the beauty of silence, and we seem to have lost the ability to hear in the silence.  Yet, in the quiet of the night when nothing stirs, in the dark of the morning before the world awakes, in the silence of a swim in the depth of the pool, in the moments before that nap when the house is empty, in the silence, God waits to greet us and to simply be with us in the quiet.


May I invite you to find some moments of silence this day.  Turn off anything that hums or glows, step away from all of the electronics that dominate our day and simply breathe in the silence.  As you do, ask God to fill the beauty of the silent space, not with sound but with Divine presence.  And may you, in that moment, be blessed.