Sisters in Scripture
   
Not Silent
7/26/2018 Kathleen MacInnis Kichline

One of the fringe benefits of working at a church all these years is having a chapel down the hall.  There are other chapels in my world—the backyard swing, my writing table, the side of my bed, sometimes inside my car, but there is something immediate about walking into the cool, dim, hushed space that is a church.  

Sunday’s prayers, psalms, praise and petitions still hang in the air like incense.   I head to one of several special spots where I have fallen to my knees before, where my heart has been stirred or my tears been shed, where I have carried the Body of Christ back to my seat in humble reverence.  Here there is no preamble or pretense; there is only prayer.

Sisters In Scripture, God is Soft SpokenThis day I reel from disappointment.  How could I have spoken so quickly, so harshly?  That very morning I’d prayed that my words be kind as well as truthful.  Was I wrong?  Was I foolish?  Was I hopelessly out of touch?  It all tumbled out.  Then I sat in the silence.  Silence.  I turned my blame in God’s direction.  It doesn’t help, you know, that you are always so silent.

An undetermined length of time passes, and I return to my office still disappointed but able to focus on the work before me.  A co-worker’s kindness waylays me.  Her words fall soft on my bruised heart.  I file, I type, I return some calls.  A few to-do’s get checked off my list.  I notice the stunning beauty just outside my window.  The pristine blue of a summer sky, the rim of hills below, trees that nod in the soft breeze, bird song and the call of children at play.  

Gratified by the pile of papers finally cleared from my desk, I look up to see it is five o’clock.  I pull out my cell phone and hit re-dial, unsure of what I’ll say but needing to reconnect.  A cheery hello reassures me that the transgression of the morning is past, attention turned to the dinner ahead.  See you soon.  Love you.  Bye.  

Purse in hand, I head to the car then turn and walk down the hall to the chapel.  I return to the place of morning prayer, sit, and whisper, "thank you.”  The silence is soft, tender, embracing.  My ears hear nothing.  But in that other silence that is my heart, I hear, "I am not silent—just soft-spoken.”  


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