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Deep calls to deep

News St Martin – Talking Points

Sunday 17 November 2013

Just recently I have noticed that my inclination to switch on the TV or radio in my own home has disappeared.

Instead I crave silence.  Like many people living in a city as large as ours, my daily life seems to consist of calls to action: busyness, meetings, chatter, traffic, movement, deadlines, all set against a background hum of the beeps and buzzes of various electronic devices.  Much of the action is necessary to some extent, but I find myself asking where that action is really rooted.  It is not always a comfortable train of thought. 

The silence I find myself craving is not simply an absence of noise, but rather a stilling of my soul, a call to attentive listening.  In an environment where we are challenged to produce, achieve and show our worth, this stilling can be hard to defend.  But to succumb to that impulse to justify is to misunderstand what silence and stilling ourselves are all about.  

Waiting on God in silence is not about what we can achieve – it is about opening ourselves to what is, acknowledging the depth of our own emptiness and allowing ourselves to be filled up with the one thing that is necessary and all-powerful: God’s love.  As human beings we function best when we attend to this gift first; only when our actions are rooted in God will they bear the full fruit God desires. 

Sometimes we all need reminding of that silence and stillness, and that is where events like Just This Day, which is happening at St Martin’s this week, can help us.  But whenever we are able, we are called to set aside the inner noise – our distractions, our concerns, our to-do lists – and tune in instead to the heartbeat of God. 

Caroline Essex