“Are you always this quiet?”
In January 2014, I took a mandatory two-day course in First Aid and CPR. My employer paid for it, and I am always up for a change of venue. Instead of the usual, I would be able to walk to my destination, amidst the freezing cold winter that we were barely surviving.
The local Paramedic Services of my city hosted the two-day training.
During a break, on the second day, as I snacked on some of the food I had brought to keep myself going I noticed the Paramedic watching me with interest; unexpectantly he asked me, “Are you always this quiet?”
As a child, I could tell you what everyone wore on the public transit buses, so much so, I couldn’t help but notice their ‘stuff’ too. Years ago, a woman came up to my Mom and made the comment, “Your daughter is very quiet, but she very observant too.”
Silence is a part of who I am, and it wasn’t until I was much older that I willingly took on a habit of this practice. It’s not something that I physically put on because I am always wearing it. I seek it like the scriptures encourage us to seek Him. In the calm, I find him, in the peace; my heart opens up and like the heaven above us, His mercy falls down on me. Seeking this kind of living is hard, especially when the world around me is so noisy.
In the last couple weeks, I have seen three or four monarchs. It is odd to see them towards the end of summer. The flutter of their wings mysteriously appear before me; open and close, open and close, open and close. I tried to follow it as the butterfly glided past me. No effort involved. It’s just doing what God willed it to do. They don’t make a sound flapping their wings; open than close. Silence surrounds it as a bubble travels up towards the blue after being blown. Stillness like a clear blue sky above you, clouds covering the sun, and then shifting and allowing the sun to shine.
Listening to others speak has afforded me the opportunity to learn about others instead of competing to have my views heard. I enjoy listening to people, how they speak, the nuance of the tone of their voice, and seeking to understand what it is He wants me to learn and pray about. Silence curdles the doubts and fears as He has taught me to walk through it instead of standing on the edge. Taking me by my hand and leading me into the emotions that normally I would avoid understanding.
In amongst all the silence, His voice can still be heard in the thunder of noise, but this is something which is better known as solitude, and this comes from time spent in the quiet. In the loud chatter all around us, God’s whisper can be heard.