Silence is one of the sweetest and yet rarest sounds ever to be. Rare because we live in a loud world. A world where souls who once walked in the cool of the day now run in the heat of the night. Where souls hide and seek for stillness only to find space which tastes of bland imitation to the original Eden creation. A world in which machinary and technology keep the door to silence shut. And we, we live in crowds yet even when we pull from them, our thoughts race leaving our minds to become the crowd.
So we ask ourselves, what is the answer?
How do we find space, let alone time, to live in this sacred silence?
Sunday night I had a dream in which stillness did not exist. That was until a whisper told me the only way to drown out the noises and voices was to ring the bell. The bell which was in a box. The bell of mint green and gold coloring with a black handle. I tried to open the box pulling it in every direction. That was until a whisper told me I had to push it open so I did. Then I took the whisperer’s advice and I shook the bell. Softly at first and then harder. I shook it until my hands were numb and my body tired. I shook the bell until all grew quiet and still. And then I woke up.
Later that afternoon, as I walked through the Amway Grand Plaza, I meandered into a little shop and there it was. The same bell I had shaken in my dream. Mint green and gold coloring with a black handle. So I bought the bell because I’m not usually one to believe in coincidences. I bought the bell because I believed God was going to do something with it.
Since I purchased the noisemaker, which stands roughly as tall as a twelve inch ruler, I have studied the bell. I have felt every inch of it. I have brought it before the Lord and said, “Teach me.”
And He has.
Since December, much in my life has unfolded not as I imagined it too. There have been harsh truths revealed that are very real as I walk forward now. Questions have begun to be answered filling the mystery parts of my pages and they are not pretty as I would like them to be. Those are the kinds of parts that become the crowds in our mind. The frightening facts make us restless. Make us want to run even though we know the Lord says, “Rest.”
So I pose the question again, what is the answer?
How do we find space, let alone time, to live in this rest?
I think the first step is permission.
We need to give ourselves permission every once in while to not be okay.
The world would tell us different. The world would say, “Don’t live there.” and “Get over yourself.” And I would agree, both statements hold validity. But all I know is that the stillest moments in my life have come when I’ve walked before the Lord and said, “I’m not okay.” And He says, “That’s okay.” This isn’t permission to dwell. This is permission to enter into a special place with a God who is the Deafeater of what’s not okay. This is permission to go before that God with where you are and allowing Him to meet you there. This is permission to take what doesn’t make sense before the One who is a God of peace and not confusion. This is permission to say, “Lord, I don’t have all of the answers but You do. Teach me. Lead me beyond the scarred places into Your sacred places.”
The loudest moments in life often come when we repremand rather than give permission. When we hold back the confusion rather than let it out. We spend too much energy trying to be better by the world standards that we miss the sacred whispers of God.
I was having a chat with a friend a few weeks ago and as I sat there making excuses as to why the unfoldings of life shouldn’t shake me, she simply said, “Patricia, it’s okay.”
That was first time someone gave me permission to take all of life in and not feel ashamed. Her words gave me permission to be hurt and to be angry. They gave me permission to yell and to cry and to ask the question, “Why?” They gave me permission to feel betrayed and abandoned and lied to. They gave me permission to be disappointed.
But understand, she wasn’t telling me it was okay to dwell in those emotions, she was giving me permisson to sort through them. To be honest with them. And there was release in that. Because those words also gave me permission to pour out all of that before God. And since then, the Lord has repeated those words to me over and over, “Patricia, it’s okay.”
So once again we ask ourselves, what is the answer?
How do we find space, let alone time, to be okay?
I think the second step is also permission.
We need to give God permission to make us okay when we are not okay. But in order to do that, we need to give Him the not okay part.
Now, as we travel back to my dream, be reminded the bell was in a box and I tried to pull it open. But in order to access the bell, I had to push the box open. You see, I was trying to open it wrong. When you pull, you always pull some of the hurt back, but when you push, you allow God to take it from you.
Permission is a two step process.
First, there must be recognition to a need for change and second, there must be consent to let the change happen. Give yourself permission to not be okay. Give yourself the space and time to process and pull, but follow up with that. In order for God to bring you to a sacred place, you must be willing to push and give Him permission to take you there.
Normally you give permission to someone who wants to do something with you or with what you have. The Lord so wants to take who we are and what we have – the good along with the bad – and do something righteous and true with it because He is righteous and He is truth. Ring the bell until every voice is silenced but His. The say, “God, You teach me.” When you do that, I think you will be amazed at how still your days suddenly become.
“For God alone my soul waits in silence; form him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.” |Psalm 62:1-2 |
Be still soul, and know that He is God.