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  • Writer's pictureRachel

They All Cry (A Call to Practice Silence)

Updated: Apr 14

There’s a whole lot of noise in the world.

I just spent a week in which there was a lot of silence. My husband was working around the clock, and therefore, I did not have him to speak with in the morning or before bed. I got the kids on the bus and then went about my day without the usual earbuds giving me background sounds. I found that I didn’t need it. There were a lot of thoughts going on in my mind that kept me company. Birdsong, rain drops, even the passing cars or the shaking of my dryer was the day’s soundtrack. It was peaceful.

At least until the kids got home.

How often do you practice silence?

Someone told me recently that the younger generation is being encouraged to take “silent walks”. They have never not had a mobile device at their fingertips. Their elders mock, but how many of them are also caught in the trap of always needing a podcast, playlist, or episode to accompany their solitude? Or perhaps it’s always texting or talking on our phones. Constantly needing someone—anyone—to listen to us or tell us we’re doing ok.

Just look at the practice of meditation. Humans are literally trying to train themselves to be aware and comfortable with stillness and silence. It's strange that as living beings with five senses, we can’t seem to use them well enough for our own well being.

Or maybe the problem is not that we aren’t using them correctly, but that we are using them for the wrong things.

Instead of using our senses to gather, learn, touch, encourage, or share, we use them in service to one—ourselves. Playlists become mood boosters. Podcasts become echo chambers. Episodes become a coping mechanism as we attempt to evade our responsibilities for another half hour.

It’s when we begin to lean on these devices, rely on them to get though the day, that we are in trouble.

We cheer when the moon moves in front of the sun. But who or what receives the exultation? Do we cheer for ourselves, in appreciation for simply seeing? Is it because we believe our participation makes it worth celebrating? It happened many times prior to our existence and it will continue on unperturbed by our departure.

Or could the hype be because we are relieved to look past our own self interest to be witness to something bigger and beyond us?

So many voices, yet one voice continues to preside over it all:

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;    
the God of glory thunders,    
the Lord, over many waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;    
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;    
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,    
and Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;   
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth  
and strips the forests bare,    
and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
Psalm 29:3-9

The voice of the Lord speaks. Are you awake to it?

And notice the response of the people when the voice of the Lord breaks, flashes, shakes, makes, and bursts forth in power and majesty. They all cry, “Glory!”

Let us use our eyes to see and ears to hear what is springing forth from every corner of creation and orbit of the cosmos:

Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;    
worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness. (Psalm 29:1-2)

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;    
the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
May the Lord give strength to his people!    
May the Lord bless his people with peace! (Psalm 29:10-11)

When we cheer, may we use our voices for the only one worthy of our adulation.

When we find solitude, may we make the most of it.

How many of us are honest enough in our humanity to allow silence?

For in the silence, the voice of the Lord speaks.

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