Pastoral Post 1.19.2018

Stillness and Silence

By Rev. Becky Brown

The deafening silence after a good snow is a moment on holy ground for me.  I have always loved walking outside, all bundled up, and simply relishing in the beauty and the power of God’s presence in the snow.  The sight of a winter wonderland in the mountains is glorious.  Yet, the silence is even more glorious.  I love the muted sound that you hear after the snowfall.  No birds are chirping, no little animals are rustling, and it sounds like you have cotton balls in your ears.  It’s mysterious.  It’s other-worldly.  It’s holy.

I love to ski.  My dad took my brother and I to learn how to ski on Sugar Mountain near Boone when we were in Elementary School.  It was his thing, and he wanted us to love it too.  After falling time and time again, struggling to stand up after a fall, and learning how to balance, we finally were able to attempt the ski lift.  The ride on the ski lift, while somewhat terrifying, was an experience.  It was a time of rest from the struggle to stay upright on skis.  It was the first time I noticed the deafening silence in the snow-covered mountain tree line.  It was breathtaking, even for my 8 year old self.  The time spent in the silence was fleeting, though.  Once we arrived at the top, we had to navigate exiting the chairlift.  This has always been a stressful and anxious part of skiing for me.  You never know how its going to go.  All things could align and you could ski blissfully and easily down the little hill and stop gracefully while maintaining your balance.  Or, your skis could get tangled, your brother could grab you to hold on for balance at the last second, dad’s poles could accidentally knock you off balance, or you could simply misjudge the landing and take a tumble.  All the while, it felt like everyone was watching your blunder.  It’s easy to forget those powerful moments relaxing and resting in the stillness and silence.

I find myself longing to have more of that holy ground, even in the midst of the stress, frustrating, and anxious times.  I find hope in Psalm 62: 1-8..

                For God alone my soul waits in silence;

                                From him comes my salvation.

                He alone is my rock and my salvation,

                                My fortress; I shall never be shaken.

                How long will you assail a person,

                                Will you batter your victim, all of you,

                                As you would a leaning wall, a tottering fence?

                Their only plan is to bring down a person of prominence.

                They take pleasure in falsehood;

                                They bless with their mouths, but inwardly they curse.

                For God alone my soul waits in silence,

                                For my hope is from him.

                He alone is my rock and my salvation,

                                My fortress; I will not be shaken.

                On God rests my deliverance and my honor;

                                My mighty rock, my refuge is in God.

                Trust in him at all times, O people;

                                Pour out your heart before him;

                                God is a refuge for us.

While snow days bring joy and bliss for many, there are those of us for whom they bring stress, especially in our home after schools have been closed for so many days, and the cabin fever prevails.  Yet, God invites us to revel in God’s presence.  To seek out the moments of stillness and silence so that we may be refreshed and find deliverance and gather strength for the days ahead.  And, to find peace and rest in moments of deafening silence, fully immersed in the presence of God.

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