This is Canon Victoria’s letter in our weekly Parish News email. To sign up for our newsletter, please visit: Constant Contact. To see the full weekly Parish News email from May 26th, please visit: http://conta.cc/2r6Ee2U
When you find yourself in a quiet house, alone, for say the afternoon, do you turn on the television or radio? It is not really to listen to the program or to watch a game, but to provide a sort of background of words and moving images. I wonder how often we seek solitude and silence. Even if we go for a walk, we often take ear buds and turn on favorite songs. I usually turn on the radio when I drive home, and half listen, unless it is at the top of the hour. I will get annoyed with some news item or dislike the song and tap the radio off. Then, five minutes, later, without thinking, I will tap it on and half listen to either news or music that barely engages my mind. I caught myself five times this week tapping on the radio, for no conscious reason.
Since before Isaiah reminded the people of Jerusalem (30:15), seekers of God have known the truth of his words, “In quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” Elijah did not meet God on the mountain in the noise of the earthquake, wind or fire, but in the “sound of sheer silence.” (I Kings: 19:12-13) Even when I am alone in the house, or walking by myself on a quiet morning, I bring a cacophony of inner voices with me. So I tap the radio to make sure that I can avoid deep thought and do not stay long enough in solitude to listen to my own heart, much less Christ. I wonder at the love of God, which so patiently chases me as I hide myself among all the noises of the world. For when I do go into silence far enough, I find God waiting for me.
— Victoria Heard