In the last week, God has pulled me into this lonely silence where it is very quiet. I hate quiet. Not so much quiet but I feel like I work better with music in the background. I feel much safer if the house has people in it as long as I don’t always have to socialize with them. I can fall asleep to the sound of someone banging around in the kitchen easier than I can if I was the only one in the house. I have never been comfortable with silence in small discussion groups especially after someone asks a question to the group and nobody talks. I would be a very bad small group discussion facilitator….too bad I AM a small group discussion facilitator at this moment! It’s a challenge for me to not quickly fill in the silence with something…anything. More times then not, I just look stupid.
About a year ago, I worked part time at an assisted living home. The people there turned out to be the best thing that happened to me (set aside from marrying Noah of course!) that year. One of my favorites was, June, an 84 year old mother of 7 children. She loved to giggle and once she started she couldn’t stop! We would sit on her bed and laugh about nothing and once I thought we were done, we would start up again! June would always beg me in a very dramatic manner, “get me out of here.” Even though that phrase would get her giggling, I knew she was partly serious. She would ring the “assistance” buzzer several times in order for one of the caregivers to come up to her room and help her with something….usually nothing.
I was thinking about her situation and how she was the only one that would call for someone to come up literally every 10 minutes and I came to the conclusion that she was so lonely after having such a huge family. Someone was always around and now she is in a one room apartment with someone required to check on her at least every 2 hours.
I see myself in June sometimes. I wonder if I will be where she is when I get old. Silence strips away everything and leaves you with reality of our humanness, our situation or our need for something more. Its often a rude awakening if we haven’t reminded ourselves daily that we can’t do it on our own. Lately I have been feeling vulnerable, naked and not in control of anything. I love Mother Teresa’s quote that says “We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence.”
My goal this week is that as I am being pulled deeper into the silence, I will recognize it as His presence.