You may not know this about me, but I am not a natural when it comes to silence. As an extrovert, silence feels like it should be filled. When I lead worship that needs a silent moment, I often make myself take a couple of additional breaths before I break the silence, knowing that my own tolerance for silence is much lower than most people’s tolerance. A couple of summers ago, I was a part of parish that covenanted to pray with scripture for twenty minutes a day for ninety days. The idea was that a bulk of that twenty minutes was not meant to be spent talking or analyzing biblical scripture, but to be silent in the presence of God’s word, making room for God’s living Word to speak. As you might imagine, the practice for me was brutally painful. But I learned a lot about myself and my prayer life that summer, and changed many of my practices as a result of the experience.
That is why I am grateful for “Quiet Days.” I am grateful for the many communities who have realized that the Church often needs to invite people to come to Church and just be. Be quiet. Be still. Be with God. Even if it is only for a few hours, the Church and other religious groups often offer mornings or days where people can stop being busy and really make space for God. I first discovered Quiet Days in seminary, but they have been an active part of my ordained ministry ever since. They are truly one of the Church’s greatest gifts to us.
This weekend, my own parish is offering a Lenten Quiet Day and I could not be more excited. I am excited for all of the reasons I just described, but I am also excited because two parishioners offered to lead the meditations for our Quiet Day. So not only do I get to be a part of a community that has invited everyone into a time of quiet with God, I too will be able to fully enjoy the quiet time with God, hearing how God is moving in through our parishioners’ meditations. This Quiet Day has not become one more thing on my busy to-do list, but instead has become an invitation for me to come and be still with God. I grateful to these parishioners who have offered up their gifts, and I hope that if you are nearby, you will join us too. Come enjoy the gift of quiet in our otherwise busy, loud life.