Elijah is on the run, hunted by those intending to take his life. He is alone, certain he has failed God, ready to give up and die. God finds him and speaks, though not in the way Elijah expected from the almighty God. Not in the power of ferocious winds, devastating earthquakes, or consuming fires. Instead, God appears in the “sound of a sheer silence.”
Sometimes we might feel like Elijah. We might be similarly running for our lives. We might listen for God, but what soundtrack is actually playing in our interior spaces? The howling running commentary of an inner critic? Booming schedules and to-do lists? Roaring rehearsals of our next conversations?
It can be a great challenge to quiet our minds and submit to the emptiness of silence. Egos resist it. Without work and activity, without words and thoughts, we fear we will disappear into meaninglessness – ghost our very selves. Without something to show for our days, we wonder, might not God do the same?
John of the Cross (ancient mystic), reminds us, “Silence is God’s first language.” Maybe, if we lean into it, we will hear the divine presence and know – by heart – God’s unconditional love.
Be still and know that I am God. Be still and know that I am. Be still and know. Be still. Be.
Pam Shellberg, LCM Board Member
And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.1 Kings 19:12