“Be still, and know that I am God”
O God, O God, my God, our world is full of anything but stillness. There is no silence to be found, I fear; no quiet about. We hear of your “still small voice”, we know You have taught that there is virtue in silence, we yearn for “green pastures” and “still waters” where You can restore our souls.
But all around us are sounds we cannot escape. The crack and pop of gunfire in schools in the United States. The screams of targeted children, the moans of the wounded, the sirens of police and ambulances, the shouts and gasps of families. These echo the bomb blasts of terrorists and bomb-strikes of armies in Syria and Afghanistan and Iraq, and the aftermath of it all. So close to home.
We hear the loud voices of those who demand change, or peace, or justice. We hear the chatter of politicians and pundits who explain away change, or peace, or justice. And now we hear a children’s chorus of victims and survivors, reviving the ancient Biblical hope that “a little child shall lead them.” We hear the calls for action, for accountability. And we hear the mockery and insults as clearly as we hear the passion and demands.
We hear the pleas of refugees in camps in Bangladesh and Kenya and Lebanon, and migrants on the seas; we hear the scratch of the pen across the paper as decisions are made about who shall be free or turned away. We hear the whimpering of the hungry, the wailing of the mournful who do not feel blessed.
God, we hear it all, and we are caught in-between. We want silence and stillness in order to know You, and to hear You. But we know we should not block out such sounds. Our world cries out to us, as surely as they cry out to You. In partnership with You we hear. Lord, as much as we might wish to be, we pray for, an exemption. Be known to us through all these sounds. Amen.