I’m down at Liberty for my 3rd intensive this week and these classes have always proven to be more beneficial to me than their academic weight suggests. I am only halfway through this week and this intensive is no different.
I have always been a person who prided myself on having no problem with being alone. There are many times when I am in a room full of people and still feel like I’m all alone. While this used to bother me quite a bit, I developed a coping mechanism which allowed me to not look as awkward as I felt. I got tired of people misunderstanding what my discomfort was projecting.
In the midst of all of this, I still find that when I’m by myself, I am still afraid of the silence. I rarely let my mind slow down enough to silence the thoughts and though I may be alone a lot, my attention is always on something else – schoolwork, reading, planning, thinking, watching documentaries, sleeping. There’s something about the silence that unnerves me and perhaps it’s in the silence that I feel that I have to finally face all the things that I desperately try to put off – the baggage, the desires to be loved and desired, the desires to be understood and fought for, the desire to be great.
It can be painful to be silent. I know that is one major way that I will be able to hear God and receive understanding but there’s part of me that is afraid of what God has to say, afraid of what God has up His sleeve now, afraid that God is going to ask me (again) to relinquish control. My mind knows that how I have been operating is not working but the fear of the unknown remains stronger in my mind and I am afraid to admit that. Yet, there’s a part of me that recognizes that in the silence I will hear my answer, I will hear The Answer.
So as I continue with this class this week and as I move closer to the end of the year with several opportunities on the horizon and renewed sense of purpose, I know that I can’t shun the silence. I’ve harassed God for so long for answers but I have not honestly stopped to silence myself to hear if or what He is speaking. I desire to not just hear God but I want to know that He is there and that He does care. The language of His care for me may look or sound different at different times but sometimes it’s as simple as quieting myself to hear Him say so.
There are some people who communicate through what they do. They wouldn’t consider themselves to be emotional people, per se, but they communicate their love for those around them through what they do. However, there is nothing like being able to hear someone say “I love you. I’m for you.” For all I know, God has been speaking this whole time but I’ve missed it because of all the noise around me. So I am going to attempt to be present with God in the silence. I think I’ll be amazed at how much is said with no words at all and how much I’m accepted with no worries at all.
“The silent churning at the core of our beings is the tormenting need to know and be known, to understand and to be understood, to possess and be possessed, to belong unconditionally and forever without fear of loss, betrayal, or rejection. It is the nostalgia for our primal oneness, the silent sorrowing for paradise lost, the age-long pursuit after the encompassing embrace for which we knew we were created. It is the search, however wanton and sullied, for the pristine grace of holding and being held, for the freedom to be who we really are without shame or pretense, for release and repose in the womb-like safety of unalterable acceptance and of overarching love.
When we take time to become silent and to listen, we may hear the scream from the depths of our being, the clamor to bare our souls and to reveal the mystery of our true selves. Just listen…listen closely,,,,It is the distant echo of the wail in the garden at the loss of innocence, of the grieving after a remembrance of shared freedom, of the release of body and soul to the embrace of absolute oneness.” – Gilbert Bilezikian