A Liturgy of Silence

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Liturgy means so many things to me- this is the second installment of a four part series I am posting on this topic

I used to think that yoga was all the silence I needed. My instructor speaking to us about our next pose, a scripture playing in my mind. This sunset yoga class was my comfortable silence. The class was purposeful silence—or maybe silence is the wrong word. I was quiet, but the instructor was not, the teens leaving basketball were not, the staff cleaning up the pool were not; but I was and I was doing something.  And yet, lately I have been encouraged to seek the Lord in silence—no music, no conversation, no words flowing from my pen—just sitting quietly in the presence of the Lord.

These moments have not been easy, they have been wrought with mental check lists, daydreams, wandering thoughts and self doubt. I have sat in a beautiful cabin, on a hillside overlooking the expanse of Kansas farm land, and on a bench in the midst of the city—and I have heard nothing. Nothing but a buzzing fly trapped by the window, a train bringing grain from the heartland to the rest of the nation, and the hustle of the people and cars going about their busy lives.

I think the quiet and the silence are not the issue, maybe it is the stillness, the feeling that either my body or my mind must be active, that both can not rest at the same time. But that is crazy, I do not think I am wired that way. And yet, those who I seek instruction from say, “Do not force it,” “Be still,” “The Lord wants to speak to you in the quiet,” “Be available to the presence of the Lord.”

I know He is there, and yet in the liturgy of stillness and the sanctuary of nature I feel lost. Maybe because this place is not my home, perhaps the silence makes me uncomfortable, or I just do not know how to listen to the Lord the way I listen to people. I often equate stillness to idleness even though they are not the same thing.

I am learning how to show up in the Divine Presence and just be. I am training my ear to hear, my heart to listen and my mind to seek His truth, especially in the stillness.

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