1 Kings 19:9-18; Psalm 85:8-13; Romans 10:5-15; Matthew 14:22-33
What does it take to hear the sheer silence of God?
As I write this, there’s a dull throb of construction machinery outside my window. Colleagues drift in with questions, news, jokes. When I check social media at the end of the day, I’ll be immersed in a stream of stories, my heart tugged by the poignant and the outraged, the mundane and the extraordinary. God speaks through all I encounter – but am I hearing the intimate message that God offers in more hushed tones? Am I hearing the word that’s near to me?
I’m coming to understand how much my faith grows in quiet – not the quiet of formal meditation or mindfulness, as valuable as those practices are. Carving out time to “do nothing” is a counter-cultural undertaking, and I’m fighting my own expectations as well as pressures from the world when I embark on it. Paul asks us to look at what is stirring within our hearts, as it is the place from where our words and actions will arise. Without experiencing this stirring fully and intentionally, it’s hard to sustain the courage to move through a world in conflict.
Arising from his own time of quiet prayer in the mountains, Jesus moves over troubled waters so luminously that his friends imagine he is a ghost. His invitation and his supporting hand stretch out through time and space, to each of us, wherever we are.
Carol James has been part of the cathedral community for over a decade. She has served as a co-mentor in the Education for Ministry program. She currently leads the evening prayer providers in our Jail Ministry and is a cathedral staff member.