The Deafening Silence

Recently, I returned from Disaster Response in Detroit.  It was there, alongside several other AmeriCorps programs (including, but not limited to: Texas Conservation Corps, Montana Conservation Corps, St Bernard Project, Conservation Corps of Minnesota, Tribal Civilian Community Corps – Hoopa Tribe, California Conservation Corps, and Washington Conservation Corps).  It was there, staying in a local monastery with over 50 others (including All Hands Volunteers), that I got used to the constant chaos of people.  I got used to working long hours, constantly talking (I worked mostly in both the call center and the AmeriCorps office scheduling field teams), and staying up late to find some ‘me-time’, catch up with the field teams, or finish cleaning from dinner.

The shock of returning to the world of conservation can’t be more defined as black and white.  This past week, I ventured forth to Washington State Park with three others.  And it felt as if I was going crazy.  There was no way to drown out the constant quiet.  It was as if my thoughts were screaming out in my head, unheard for so long, that the whispers were deafening.

There have been too many times when I have fled from the silence that surrounds me.  I fill my space with images of family, friends, and inspiration.  I fill my room with music that echoes words off the walls.  I find ways to distract myself so the silence doesn’t consume me.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my space and the comfort of having it all to myself, but sometimes the silence is like a disturbing presence that feels like someone, something standing over my shoulder.

It scares me.

It scares me because of what I might hear in that silence.  The whisper of God.

Oh, I see God in so many moments of this life.  I see Him in each sunrise and sunset.  In each breath I take, I am reminded how much He loves me.  Yet I fear what I may hear.

We want to be comfortable.  It is human nature.  But God has not called us to be comfortable.

That, my friends, is why we are so scared of the silence.

So we surround ourselves with noise, to drown out the uncomfortable moments with noise.

And yet, it still seems to find us, no matter how hard we try to escape it.

I laid in bed last night, unable to sleep because my thoughts were racing through my head to quickly.  And the silence crept in.  It was more deafening than any noise I could surround myself with.  And I was afraid.  But at the same time, I found comfort in it.

Silence isn’t something we should run from.  I know that.  I’ve known that for some time now.  And I appreciate the time alone with God.  Each time, I am reminded of how much He loves.  Unconditionally.  And the silence is proof of that.

So next time you find yourself confronting the deafening noise of silence, take a deep breath and find yourself embraced in the loving arms of God.


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