I was reading an article on guidance for writers and artists. A very worthy portion of this advice consisted of urging those engaged in creative endeavors to practice at least two minutes of quiet whenever an urge was felt to rush to do this, do that. The need to simply be fully quiet and fully aware seemed to me to equal a type of surrender. Thus, a place of inner peace would result and creativity could flow therefrom.
I was put in mind of I Kings, Chapter 19, where the prophet Elijah was running for his life. Scripture tells us he had been running for forty days before finding a cave. It was there that he heard words from the Lord saying, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Just at this time, an extremely strong wind started up so strongly that it slit parts of the mountainsides, breaking rocks; but the Lord was not there. Then an earthquake followed; but the Lord was not there. Next came a raging fire; but the Lord was not there. Suddenly, there was nothing but silence. In this silence, Elijah wrapped his face in his mantle and went to stand outside the entrance to the cave. Then, Scripture tells us, “…a voice came to him.”
Not only are we in various times and in various places called upon to withstand terrible natural storms and disturbances, but we are called upon daily to wait out the storms and noises of people and duties and self reproach and temptations. Can we learn to wait through the storms for that “still, small voice” that is actually pure silence? This silence permits the entry of the voice of the Lord into our inner place of quietness. I now share with you a poem rewritten from a scribbling I once submitted to a teacher many years ago.
Quaking in rattled composure
disabled stagger on tilted floor
only grabbing backdoor knob exposure
Reckoning abandoned crying no more
She squinted through panes all cracking
Bemoaning trees all whipped and tore
Howling with winds enbracking
She fell to knees unknowing to seek
Some rescuing arm even if slacking
Neck all bent to bare her meek
She dare not breathe in sudden hush
Leaning there waited outside a squeak
Crawling down tiling path by rush
fallen o’er tiny nested bird
Chirping in joy of rainbow bush
Now cradling chirping word
Whispering of rescue
With promise for woman and bird
WOULD YOU LIKE TO FIND THAT PLACE OF SILENCE? WOULD YOU LIKE TO FIND THAT CHIRP OF PROMISE? WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE THE HANDS AND FEET THAT BRING ANOTHER INTO A PLACE OF PEACE? WOULD YOU LIKE TO HEAR THE VOICE OF THE LORD?
BEGIN WITH QUIET. MEDITATE UPON ELIJAH AT THE CAVE AND THE WOMAN CRAWLING DOWN THE GARDEN PATH. THEN SEEK OUT HOLY SCRIPTURES THAT TELL YOU: “I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE” AS SPOKEN BY JESUS THE CHRIST RIGHT HERE ON EARTH. HE WILL LEAD YOU THROUGH THE STORMS INTO A QUIET GARDEN PATH OF EVERLASTING PEACE.