Having moved recently, I am now keenly aware of the sounds in my new environment. Water dripping, air conditioning or heater running, floor creaks, bird calls, traffic in the distance, overhead light hums, and more! It’s tough to adjust because I’m not always sure what manner of creation is making the noise or what its significance is!
And I’m conscious that there is such little absolute silence in life. True, we can “tune out” of some familiar noises such that we don’t even “hear” them any more because our brain has automatically accounted for it. But moving into a new space, all that has to be relearned.
So long as I have a quiet place some where, I’m good to go with the normal ebb and flow of noise. And, I rather enjoy occasional forays into big noise like a parade or sporting event or raucous gatherings of family, nuns, and friends!
What’s your relationship with silence and noise? Do you swing more one way than another?
The Gospels are a great place to look to see how the dynamic of silence and noise plays out in the life of Jesus. Sometimes Jesus is in the midst of the crowds, other times alone in the wilderness. In both places — the Noise and the Silence — Jesus encounters God.
In the Noise … When Jesus goes to the Jordan River with John the Baptist and a crowd of people, John baptizes Jesus. The heavens open up and the voice of God resounds, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17)
In the Silence … Right after his baptism, Jesus is led by God into the wilderness where he fasted and prayed for 40 days. (Matthew 4:1-2)
How do you find God in times of noise, however cacophonous it might be? What about the silence? Does it ever seem to get so overwhelming that it seems unbearably loud? Where is God? Share your experience with the community here.