“Hi Andi, I hope you’re well. Just wondering if you could update your musing for the site”.
You’ll notice it isn’t a question!
In the usual run of circumstances I take a while to reflect on recent events, to locate something of those events within the story of scripture and then to offer a short, gentle reflection of my own. Put simply, my task is to give words because words are what is expected of me, words are what makes the world go round, a website without words would be a very odd thing, not least because it’s url would be deeply problematic.
Every day each of us offer words into a huge array of situations, sometimes our words are thoughtful well considered and reflective. Sometimes our words are the spontaneous outpouring of our inner most being. The first time I ask my boys to get ready for bed it is a gentle, calm and considered approach, the ninth time I ask them the same question it is a little less well considered and significantly more emotive.
What it means to be Christian is often times considered to be a very words focused consideration. Not only do we belong to a story but the story we belong to is one in which the opening lines speak of a God who spoke all things into being. Could things be any more wordy?
Yet despite all of this attention to words there is a deep and constant thread throughout the Judeo-Christian story which speaks of our need for deep silence, quiet still places in which we might know ourselves and God without the endless concophony of words.
During some of the most powerful moments in Jesus ministry words are notable by their absence, when a hungry crowd gathered he simply fed them, when a broken women met with him he simply offered her healing, when he stood before Pilate Jesus words could not have been any fewer. There are huge parts of Jesus ministry for which no words offer us a description of his activity not because words are lacking but because Jesus movements offer a patter of action, reflection retreat and sometimes the retreat lasts many days.
In the ancient Jewish scriptures the Psalmist writes of God instructing his people, ‘Be still’. Why? For in the stillness you may ‘Know that I am God’. It’s a crazy counter cultural proposition. Surely god’s are established by the power of words and demnd words from their subjects. Yet stillness is one of the most beautiful and repeated images of God. A God who invites not our constructs or understandings but simply our presence, a God who values each of us not because of what we say or understand but because love is always and everywhere his nature.
May you find space to be still.