Remembering that day I ran away from home.
I ran away from the endless noise of ringing phones and television; the constant responsibility of laundry, meals, and bills; the high piles of deskwork; and even the lovely interruptions from my sweet husband. In other words, I ran away from my life.
My gift to myself was three silent days on the shore at a spiritual retreat center aptly named Mercy by the Sea.
It was a time to HUSH!
Silence to calm and quiet my soul. Silence to think and remember. Silence to hear the voice of God.
I almost wept when I checked into my room containing a simple bed and chair facing a view of lawn and the ocean. A perfect setting for my own triduum of mercy with no spoken words, no music, no sounds whatsoever. Except for pouring rain, singing birds, and the lapping waves. My simple meals were consumed alone—each bite a thank-you prayer for not having to plan, cook, or clean.
I confess I came with an agenda—I was hoping God would show me how to fix my life. But as one pastor says, “There is nothing you need to do here. . . . Silence can form your life even if it doesn’t solve your life.”
Soon I realized it was far better to simply experience each moment with an open mind and open heart to what might be revealed.
Are you in need of silence today? Have all the holiday happenings caused stress and overload? Advent – the season of waiting is a perfect time to pull away and be quiet, even if just for an afternoon.
The rest of the world (and my family) functioned just fine without me which was both a sobering thought and a huge relief. I mostly unplugged —realizing technology may be the last hardest barrier to our retreat from noise, because it represents connection.
“Silence offers a way of paying attention to the Spirit of God and what he brings to the surface of our souls. . . . Like a can opener, the silence opens up the contents of our heart, allowing us deeper access to God than we experience at other times. As we remain in the silence, the inner noise and chaos will begin to settle. Our capacity to open up wider and wider to God grows.” (Adele Calhoun, Spiritual Disciplines Handbook)
Where can you find pockets of silence periodically?
Most of us can’t run away from our lives, but we can intentionally seek out opportunities to be quiet and reconnect with God. Whether we do a childcare exchange for an afternoon or visit a local monastery or convent for the day, our choice to come apart for a while will reap great benefits. Both to our own souls (more calm and settled) and through the spillover to all those around us.
Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
and with fear and trembling stand;
ponder nothing earthly-minded,
for with blessing in his hand ,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
our full homage to demand. (Liturgy of St. James AD 275)
Will you take some time to be Silent during this Advent season of waiting?
I assure you, God will show up…
under the mercy, Lucinda
copyright 2019 Lucinda Secrest McDowell Check out my brand new book “Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most” by Lucinda Secrest McDowell Order Today! More about “Life-Giving Choices” HERE!