There are moments of being a mommy that stop me in my tracks, that nearly choke me with their fullness. And I don’t, I can’t forget.
Several years ago, in the midst of the roar of the big world, my oldest daughter just needed to be held. She crawled up and put her hand on my chest so that her small fingers were nestled in the notch just below my throat. She nestled there just staring up at me, not moving or talking, not requiring anything from me but to be with me. And when my nearness and murmured soothing had breathed courage into her again, she ran off to explore and experiment some more.
Those are the eyes that I want. That is the nearness that I need. I want to learn to lean in and quiet my soul before Him, because when I do, I hear the gentle murmur, “…hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.” (Psalm 131)
I don’t know about you, but I often feel like I am living in a roar, both without and within. Music, TED talks, NPR. Thoughts and plans of the morning chores and lunch meetings, that art activity with the kids, the evening out with my husband. Conversations, self-analysis, hopes, fears, to-dos. All so often falsely urgent. Where is the hope forevermore in these things?
What if instead of more information or more conversation, our souls sometimes are crying out for small moments of true silence and solitude? I know that I talk far too often and far too loudly, moving quickly when I should pause to listen first. In the moment of silence gifted to me, too often I reach for the radio dial or click on the social media app on my phone. In the quiet of the evening when children go to bed, too quickly I reach for the book or the remote tempting me from the coffee table. And it’s not the fault of the television or the smartphone, the book or social media, the radio, the podcast, the person sitting across from me.
What if we let the book sit gently in our laps or the question hang in the air for just a moment while we let our minds still and empty asking the Lord to fill us with His purpose? Might the book be more meaningful after that pause? Might the conversation be richer? Might we know the rest of an early night’s sleep instead of a late night in front of the television again?
I don’t have a pause button on my life. The roar doesn’t usually stop, and most of the time the world really can’t wait. But I can lean in quietly, like the weaned child not requiring anything but nearness. In that momentary stilling of my very soul, I can hear, really hear the One who came down.
And I think of Elijah needing pause, all worn out from doing, all indignant in his ruined expectations. But he was still and he was waiting. In the waiting, there was roaring wind, shaking earth, consuming fire. And then there was a whisper. Hope --- the murmur in the roar.
I’m committing to pause today before I move…or speak. Just a breath, not so anyone would notice. And I think for me, this also means a media fast today. Maybe instead of music and information and entertainment, I will hear more than the roar.
I’m praying not to be the roar in someone else’s life. May I instead be the one who brings His whisper.