Where Did All the Noise Go?

Almost every other week since I’ve been here in Lome, Togo I’ve gone into the market.  Usually, the market is the last place that I ever want to be.  There is so much noise, people yelling, shouting out their slogans and shoving their items in buyers faces. 

There is a section of the craft market that we lovingly call “rip-off road.”  A smaller alley off one of the main roads that traps tourists within the small shacks and vendor tents.  African men will follow you around and pull you into every shop, claiming that each and every one of them are theirs or one of their family members, friends or someone else they know. 

Today, a small group of us wandered into the market, only to find it eerily silent.  Nobody trying to drag us off to the next booth.  No one shoving stuff in our face.  While I would normally find this really relaxing, it actually put me more on edge.  Something just didnt feel right. 

I noticed something about how we hear God.  While in the missions field, we are surrounded by Gods voice.  We hear him more, or we are more open to hear him.  Then as we return to our own society, we dont hear him as we once did.  We panic, thinking we did something wrong.  We didnt do enough.  We panic because God is drowned out by society. 

Or maybe it’s the other way around.  We live life, surrounded by the noise of society, until one day, we wake up and hear the whisper of God. 

Either way, we hear the silence, and we know something is wrong.  Or we believe something is wrong. 

Nothing is wrong.  Well, we may have just closed out ears towards him.  Or opened up our hearts to listen.  Maybe it has nothing to do with us.  Maybe God chose to be silent.  We may never know. 

So, when we hear the silence, be it because we hear the silence or voice of God, don’t panic.  Still yourself and enter into prayer.  Don’t be afraid.  God is in control.  Always has been.  Always will be. 

(side story:  In the market today, it was quiet due to a couple of different things.  First, the weather.  It was overcast and looked like it was about to rain.  It never did, but the threat was there.  Second, there were a number of demonstrations and protests earlier this morning that were met with riot police and tear gas.  What the protests were all about, i’m not really sure.  And lastly, almost everyone knows that we will be leaving soon.  Our small group was conscious of all these things and kept up a vigilant watch for our own and each others safety.)

God Bless and PEACE

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