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Friday, March 11, 2011

Silence 5

Today I'm reading Thessalonians 4:9-12. Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

And 1 Peter 3:1-4. Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

Who would have thought that having a lifestyle that embraces silence/quietness would be a way to witness to others? Paul says it helps to win the respect of outsiders. Peter (in a passage universally loved by the ladies which we can discuss at a later time) says that these qualities enhance a woman's beauty with unfading value. Both passages bring high praise to a spiritual life that understands healthy silence.

How's your witness?

Here's a good quote to meditate on today: "Silence is the very presence of God - always there. But activity hides it. We need to leave activity long enough to discover the Presence - then we can return o activity with it. Stillness is present throughout the run at every point. But if one only runs, he never knows stillness. God is present in all things, but we will never be aware of him if we never stop and leave behind all thing to be in him." (M. Basil Pennington - O Holy Mountain).


Today's prayer: O God, my Father, I have no words, no words by which to dare express the thing that stir within me. I lay bare myself, my world, before you in the quietness. Brood over my spirit with your great tenderness and understand and judgment, so that i will find, in some strange new way, strength for my weakness, health for my illness, guidance for my journey. This is the stirring of my heart, O God, my Father. Amen. (Howard thurman, The Growing Edge).

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