This is 31 Conversations from the front porch day 1… you can follow the whole series here.
Day 1: Let My Words Be Few
I grew up in the church. It was all I had ever known for the majority of my life so losing what I thought was friendship and community when we walked away from our last church gathering- during that excruciatingly painful October 7 years ago – was like a great divorce to my soul.
As I faced rejection and the loss of a future the way it had been imagined for me there was one quote that spoke into the beginnings of all that grief and confusion:
“It is such a season of joy and sorrow this year, and so intermingled that I believe it is best to let my words be few with the world and many with the Lord” (Angie Smith).
This ushered in an intense time of healing and growth. It was a time of learning to be still and rest.
It was the beginnings an entire year of silence. For a whole year only a few people spoke into my life.
Removed from my world instantly was a great gathering of voices that had shouted too loudly, that had become too important.
Those voices that NEEDED to be heard and to speak into my life were no longer allowed to speak.
I was alone.
I was left with myself – trying to navigate in the quiet.
I felt blind. I felt mute. I felt shame. I felt afraid.
This was my year of silence. This was the year that the Divine voice speaking came not from my parents’ God, or my grandparents’ God, or my church’s God, or my pastor, mentor, friends’ God… this was the year that SHE/HE who “does not leave us or forsake us” became MY God.
- I learned how to find HIM.
- She healed my eyes.
- He taught me how to find the sacred in the ordinary.
- She silenced all voices, but HER own.
- He taught me how to hear him.
- How to discern the truth from the counterfeit.
This happened in the silence not in the chaos, not in the noise.
It did not happen in the hurry and restlessness and busy of the
church world around me.
This did not happen inside the confines of a church building or a specific denominational mantra.
It happened on the path, in our home, in the car, in the forest, by the pool, on the front porch, and along the way.
For Your Own Front Porch Conversations:
Thoughts: Silence is not something that our culture intentionally chooses – we have to realize how desperately we need it, become flooded over with life noise and chaos, and have our wells run dry before it becomes obvious that we need to get away and into silence. Silence can not include your cell phone. Silence can not include the chaos of a plugged in life. So leave the phone in the house or on the charger – as you step out onto the stoop.
Nature: trees, flowers, and grass grow in silence. The stars, the moon, and the sun move in silence. What is essential is not what we say but what God tells us and what He tells others through us. In silence He listens to us; in silence He speaks to our souls. In silence we are granted the privilege of listening to His voice.
Silence of our eyes.
Silence of our ears.
Silence of our mouths.
Silence of our minds.
…in the silence of the heart God will speak.
—Mother Teresa, (No Greater Love)
Meditation: Be still today ALONE on the porch. No complaining. No noise. No brain/mind chaos. See if you can silence all thoughts and outside distractions. Sit still. Pick up a leaf or a flower and analyze it. Find a spider’s web and watch the spider at work. Find one focal point in the nature you can see from the porch – listen, watch, be at peace.
Suggested Activity: No questions today. No hurry. No agenda. Can you go about one day without your cell phone, internet, email, etc? Can you cut the tethers that bind you to the world and find silence? Turn it all off today. You do not need it. Play a game. Lean into the voices of your family and friends. Find the space to breathe.
From the front porch,
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