Chaos vs. Silence…..Silence WINS!

Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, alabaster, ...

For God alone my soul in silence waits;
I will trust in him and never be afraid–
for what can mere mortals do to me?
Paraphrase of one of the Psalms. Points to whomever can identify it.


(This blog post was written on Sunday. Sometimes things are better when they sit for a while.)

Regular readers of my blog will know that I’m going through a time of silence. Not my own–I have a very loud brain–but the silence of God. I’ve been working to embrace this silence, to stop trying to fill it with the garbage of my own mind. So far, I can’t control the chattering, but I can tell you that I’m getting a lot less enamored with the sound of my own internal voice. That can only be a good thing.

Today our preacher reminded us that there are times when we come up against chaos, the formless void, that which inspires fear and the frantic attempt at ordering our own lives to save ourselves from the uncertainty. It helped to have this outside perspective name the uneasiness I often feel, the chaos at the door. It helped to know I’m not alone in experiencing it, but also that it’s the same fear the Psalmist is turning his back on, choosing to trust the Lord, despite the fact the absence of chaos means silence.

This afternoon I was meditating (reading, marking, inwardly digesting) on some of the Advent collects. The Advent IV collect reminds us that God visits us daily.* This language of visitation reminded me that God is still showing up in my life. The least I can do is acknowledge his presence, even if I’m feeling disconnected from him.

Somehow, right now, these disconnected bits have come together to allow my soul to wait in silence for the Lord, trusting in him, not being overwhelmed with fear or what anyone might think of me. My jabbering mind is quiet, my soul is attentive. I am not expecting to hear from the Lord, but I know he is here in this place. I could not have arrived here by myself.

*Advent IV collect from the Book of Common Prayer: Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


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