In 1 Kings 18 we read how the prophet Elijah had a great victory over the priests of Baal. But when Queen Jezebel heard what happened, she threatened to kill Elijah. Afraid, he ran away and hid in a cave. While he was there, a fierce, rock-shattering wind, earthquake and fire came, each in all its fury but it wasn't until these had past and the "sound of sheer silence" (1 Kings 19:12 NRSV) descended that God came to Elijah and gave him instructions on his next mission.
Thomas à Kempis was a 14th century mystic and monk remembered today for his devotional writings such as Imitation of Christ." He wrote:
"In silence and peace a devout soul makes progress and learns the secrets of the scriptures. Only in silence and peace does a devout soul find floods of tears in which it may wash and cleanse itself each night. The further the soul is from the noise of the world, the closer it may be to its Creator, for God, with his holy angels, will draw close to a person who seeks solitude and silence."*Thomas Merton was a 20th century monk who espoused quietness and solitude. He seems to have come to the conclusion that "silence is not just a condition we cultivate in order to better hear the word of God, but that silence itself is where we find God."**
God reveals himself to us in many ways but often we're too busy and preoccupied to see or hear him. This is one reason why I enjoy my prayer room. Here I can be alone and silent. Here is where I can focus on God without distraction. Here is where I can bask in his presence and simply be, open to him.
Where do you find silence in your life?
*as quoted by Connecting with God by Renovaré, page 63.
**Connecting with God by Renovaré, page 69.