As I have been determinedly learning this gift of silence, I am more and more convinced that life without taking the time to be quiet and still, is missing a huge slice of life this side of heaven.
A few years ago I began the New Year by reading and writing about staying at attention and in adoration of the living God.
I purposely would look for that theme as I read through the Bible and then apply it to my life on a somewhat orderly schedule. That journey has been the beginning of a shift in how I try to live out each day.
And more recently, this journey has taken me to a place of practicing solitude and silence. I am learning to pay attention to whispers, to tears, to near tears, to joy, to songs, to silence.
As I am learning to enjoy the fruits of being quiet, I realize that this journey is an ever -learning one.
Learning to pay attention to some of the most mundane and ‘seeing’ God in those moments is amazing.
I recently read a poem entitled ‘The Hazelnut’. Written centuries ago by Julian of Norwich.
Each time I read through this poem, I am finding more fruit. I desire to be able to hold in my hand something as simple as a hazelnut and ponder God. Just like Julian.
A hazelnut of all things! A little, hard, round piece of nut! She pondered and held and felt it rolling around in her hand and waited. Waited for the Holy to speak.
He showed me a little thing…Ahh, can I put myself in such a place where I can know that God is showing me a little thing? So attuned and so attentive that I hear Him tell me a story through such a thing as a hazelnut?
Julian goes on to say that she looked upon it with her inner eye of understanding…
In this Little Thing (writes Julian), I saw three properties. The first is that God made it, the second is that God loves it, the third, that God keeps it.
A hazelnut in her hand. Simple but profound. As Julian pondered on what the Lord showed her, she stated that only when she is fastened to Him will she completely know God as Maker, Lover and Keeper.
Wow. That’s worth pausing for.
That’s all. Just sit, look, wait, listen. Our inner eye of understanding is our soul. And God dwells there.
He has many treasures to share with us if we will just take the time to listen…
So I hold in my hand a mere hazelnut. What say you, God?
Might He fill my head and heart with His Presence and speak just as He did with Julian?