Silence comes like a forgotten friend. Her sacred sinews rip apart with the cares of life but now she returns like an unexpected gift. Standing over kitchen sink, hands submerged in soapy water, I lean into her indentation the size my frame. It feels good to be here.
The lists, the chores, and the things I “ought” to do: overshadowed by her presence. All seems trivial in the sacred space of silence. My bare feet on the cold tile in my kitchen, they touch holy ground in this moment. He whispers in the movement of water as my fingers scratch labels off colored glass.
That it’s only temporary: what we do to clean up what sin does to a life.
Be still and know that I am God . . . ~Psalm 46:10
And I have been cleaning up all morning. Laundering the table cloths with the spilled wax from holiday dinners, returning the plates we use once a year back to their home in the china cabinet, cleaning up from what a sick dog leaves on carpet and walls and doorframes.
It isn’t his fault. He doesn’t want to be sick, doesn’t deserve to be sick. He didn’t ask for any of it. He just is sick because the world is fallen.
This dog looks at me as if he reads my mind, knows what I want without speaking. Because he studies his master for nine years now. He understands the definition of a sigh, the crack in the voice of sorrow, the thrash of anger and he responds accordingly.
Do we know God this way?
Can I hear His voice when there are no words? Because sometimes His voice sounds like a bird singing, a child crying, a heavy sigh of someone sitting beside or a chest rising and falling in slumber.
The chest of my daughter, who returns home after school, stretches out on that same holy ground where I stood earlier, to lay on dog pillows offering comfort for her sick pet. Drifts into deep sleep.
As I sit there, listen to the rhythm of her breathing, watch her chest rise and fall, I sit immobilized once again and lean in to her. The sacredness of silence introducing His presence and I am drenched in the holy.
And just like those clean bottles now lining my kitchen counter, I am empty to fill because silence washed the labels off. The labels dictating a list of ingredients to make a day productive, successful, rewarding. Her value is priceless and I see with new eyes. Settle into this sacred space and breathe deep.
Can you risk and sit with silence?
Listen to her. She brings perspective.