Wednesday, January 17, 2007

God's First Language

"The fruit of silence is prayer"
--Mother Theresa


When we choose silence, we choose to listen.
When we choose to listen, we experience him.

We feel every sensation we've ignored. The itching. The aching legs,
the strained back and sighing neck.

Our mind becomes a whirlwind home-theater of every passing thought. We forgot to walk the dog, the Cablevision bills due, Frankie smeared ice pop all over the frig door. And others: work, the past, the future, how we love/hate/ fear our boss/father/spouse.

It all comes.

And then it passes. If we let it.

Then the silence sets in. The true silence.

The quiet that comes when we've let our cares go for the moment in which we chose to sit in his presence.

And how can words describe what happens in that silence?

They can't.

I can't explain how each breath I take in that quiet feels like a drought of fresh air atop the cliff in Tintagal. I can't describe the refreshment of cool and calm that overflows me, as though I lay floating on my back in a becalmed ocean. I can't account for the serene awareness of everything around me and within me.

And I have no vocabulary to describe my consciousness of his presence.

I can only say this: the fruits of peace, joy, freedom and confidence I've experienced from sitting in silence bear witness to whom I've spent my time with.

In that silence, when we experience him, he introduces us to ourselves--the self he created and loves.

Not the sham we've created to socialize. Or hide from ourselves. Or cower from our sins--or our strength.

No. He shows us ourselves as he made us and as he loves us. And through his eyes we may come to justly love ourselves.

And that's good. Because when we consistently do that, we then consistently love our neighbor--and our God.

When we're quiet, we listen.
When we listen, he speaks.
He speaks in the first language he's ever spoken:


We experience him
in silence.

Dare we quiet our minds, our hearts, our bodies, our spirits
long enough
to encounter him?

Dare we not?

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