Recently, I have heard the Spirit whisper of the same message during my time of prayer–“Silence.” As a seeker of social justice, silence in that sense does not come naturally for me. Yes, I can be contemplative and prayerful in many aspects of my life, but for me, with injustice comes action, and with action comes voice.
As I lean into the understanding of this new call, I am beginning to realize that this is not the kind of silence associated with indifference, fear or even uncertainty. I am appreciating the silence of Wisdom.
The wisdom of discernment and intention. The wisdom of hindsight and foresight. The wisdom of experience and hope.
In my prayer time, I have been called by the Spirit to go to the Psalms. If you are not familiar with the Bible, some psalms, or songs, were written as a way to express feelings and sentiments that couldn’t be shared for fear of retaliation.
In its article “The Significance of Psalms”, Bible.org notes that Israel was living in an “interim” period, a period filled with challenge. The psalms were written as a way to work through that struggle while giving voice to the pain, sadness, and anger felt by people who were wondering why they had been forsaken by God.
My spiritual director has encouraged me to write psalms at certain times in my life, and I have found it is much easier for me to turn to Scripture and read others’ words rather than wrestle with my own.
This morning during prayer, the Spirit said, “It’s time.”
The Psalm of Silence
O, God, why have you given me this voice
then asked me to quiet it?
Why have you given me this passion
then asked me to suppress it?
Why have you taken all that I know
about goodness and truth, compassion and justice
and turned it all upside down?
My heart aches to feel your presence in this place and time.
My spirit calls to you, “Be with us.”
And you whisper, “Silence. Silence. Silence.”
an unfamiliar mantra to this expressive soul.
And yet, I see your compassion among the people,
And I experience your devotion in their prayers,
And I observe your wisdom in their worship,
And I know you are in this place.
Here I am.