We live in a noisy world. If we happen to be in a quiet place, we bring our noise boxes with us our pockets.
Does anyone go anywhere without their phone?
Connectivity invites us to constant interaction with others and only the rare, out of the way, unconnected corner leaves us to contemplate our own thoughts or our own feelings.
Yet we need to seek silence. We need to sit with our inner selves and reflect on the work of Christ in our hearts.
If the enemy forces us to give up quietness, we must not listen to him. For nothing is like quietness and abstinence from food. They combine to fight together against him. For they give keen insight to the inner eyes.Abba Doulas, c. 3rd Century
Grief is brutal.
Dominic’s death and burial so closely following the pattern of Holy Week has led to superimposing my own experience on that of the disciples and Mary.
When Christ was declared truly dead, taken from the cross and laid in a borrowed grave it surely must have felt as if there was no hope. This Rabbi, this Miracle Worker, this Man of God who claimed to be the Son of God had not stopped evil men from wrongly accusing Him, wrongly convicting Him and wrongly putting Him to death.
I don’t have to imagine how that felt.
Dominic was killed late Friday night/early Saturday morning. Days of silent waiting filled the space between when I knew and when I could finally see his body.
If I could have filled that time with distracting noise I would have.
But there is no sound that can drown out grief.
I often imagine the company of those who loved Jesus sitting silent in a room together each with his or her own thoughts. What was there to say?
Today, Chole invites us to fast our voice-spoken and written-and to make space to hear our own thoughts as well as the still, small whisper of the Lord.
It’s no coincidence that communities honor the fallen with a moment of silence.
In that sacred silence we are drawn together and also forced to face our separate sense of loss, fear, hope-or lack of hope- and mortality. It is an exercise we frequently shun but should instead embrace.
Today I encourage you to sit in silence with your own loss, with the hope and light of the gospel, with the promise that every bad thing, every wicked thing, everything the enemy means for evil will one day be irrevocably and beautifully be undone and redeemed.
Have you ever been silenced by a painting, symphony or play? Have you ever been moved so deeply by an experience that words failed you and the only worthy offering was silence? In fasting our voice we are focusing-not remotely emptying-our minds to behold Jesus with love….Join the disciples today in beholding Jesus in His death.Alicia Britt Chole