Deep Peace

John Rutter’s setting of the Gaelic blessing, “Deep Peace” is playing in the background. I have finished some writing, some house cleaning, put away the laundry and reviewed my calendar for the week… and have a few moments to just sit and Be.

At the silent retreat last month, I had opportunity to do some journaling and praying. My prayers were answered, though not how I expected. Not at all. And yet as I re-read my journal entry, I realized the words were still true:

In God’s silence, in God’s seeming inactivity, so much is going on. Just like the frozen pond in winter, with the peepers and fish buried deep in the bottom muck, things may be still, but they are forming. Within me, there is also — a deeper, cognitive, spiritual and intrinsically peaceful level of change in my soul. 

Would I have known the depths of a yearning for this as-yet unknown Call had I not been still enough to hear it? The quiet is unforced, just as God’s leading, not changed by my wishes but shaped by God’s wisdom.

There is comfort in knowing this… deep within, All is Well. There is so much NOISE in keeping Silence. Well, non-noise, really. And in all of this non-noise, there are reminders of life and hope and peace… surrounding and filling me. There is so much to hear that I can only BE in it.

lichen

I know this Deep Peace, though I have no way of explaining it… only being IN it. Though I still wrestle and complain, (and yes, ask my ‘WHYs’ and ‘WHY NOTs’) I still walk in a place of abiding Love.

I share all this because, I suspect that you, who stumble onto this blog, have your own questions and doubts just sitting there, too. And I believe, down to my toes, that even with unknown answers, it is Enough to just Be. Here. Now. In the Presence of the Divine…

Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the gentle night to you.
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.
Deep peace of Christ,
of Christ the light of the world to you.
Deep peace of Christ to you.

Winter Solstice Blessing

Winter Solstice Blessing

From Karen Clark’s blog and book A Path of She

Nature remembers what we humans have forgotten – that every cycle must return to stillness, and to the dark.

Every out-breath requires an in-breath

Every outer endeavor turns back inward to its origins, its center, in order to begin again.

From death comes new life, and from darkest night, the new dawn is born.

May the darkness of winter bring new appreciation of the Light.

Cross-posted: In the Quiet

Posted over at RevGalBlogPals:

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Lord,
in this waiting,
we stand in the silence,
surrounded by the faithful of today.
And the saints of old,
who watched and waited,
praised and prayed,
had visions and discouragements,
yet believed,
whisper to us on the winds of the Spirit,
“Wait… wait…”

May we put down deep roots
in this quiet witness
of time and place and holiness,
and hear Your call
to journeying
and waiting,
even now,
with hearts of hope and faith.

For we know, Divine One,
You shall build Your tabernacle among us
and You will be our God
and we will be Your people.
And yes,
we wait…
for You,
Holy One,
for You.

Amen.

 

How silently, how silently…

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My day at Dayspring Retreat Center was, again, full of beauty, stillness and peace. I forget  how much I enjoy the time in silence. The Divine speaks so loudly through Creation! The photos above capture some of the moments of our conversation…

In the chatter of the tree limbs banging one against another,
You are there.

In the whisper of the wild grasses, bending and dancing in the wind,
You are there.

In the utter silence on the path between the pines,
You are there.

In the muddled outlines of trees reflected on the pond,
You are there.

In the blooms of lichens and mushrooms,
You are there.

In all the twists and turns of the vines, and of my going out and coming in,
You are there.

My day in silence reminds me
That I know that I know that I know that I KNOW
You are there.

Blessed peace
Blessed quiet
Blessed silence

You are there.

 

Silence…

It’s so quiet on these late night writing sessions. The house is silent. Even the cats are sleeping! Tonight I cracked my window on one of the warmest spring nights yet, just to hear the sound of life outside. After 1 a.m. even this busy metro area is pretty quiet.

And then, the more I listen I hear how it is far from “silent”!!

My family and friends know I am not a “silent” type. Some are amused at my jaunts to a silent retreat. But even those four hours of not talking are a place for God to speak — loudly. In fact, it is in the absence of the usual sights and sounds that God speaks the loudest.

When I was on a short-term trip to Nigeria (a lifetime ago!) we had frequent power interruptions. One of my favorite things to do when that happened was to sit out on the steps of our apartment, slap mosquitos and enjoy the dark night sky. The air was humid and still. But looking up, there were layers upon layers of stars. The heavens were never so “deep” to my naked eye then they were after an hour or so of gazing upwards.

An astronomer friend told me later that it takes several minutes for the human eye to adjust to darkness. Eventually we can see, even in starlight. It just takes patience and time.

Seems to me that hearing God in the silence is pretty much the same thing…

In the starlight I see
worlds and supernovas
created by your hand
as a sparkling touch of joy


In the silence I hear
words and simple questions
reminded by your voice
that I am yours and yours alone


In the silence
and in the starlight
you are there

This reminded me of a song that is among my favorite worship songs… as I crawl into bed, it’s on my heart… thought I’d share it…