the writings of Jason+

Sheer Silence

by | Oct 8, 2023 | Cigar Reflections | 0 comments

“[God] said [to Elijah], ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’” – 1 Kings 19:11-13 NRSV

This morning at the local church my wife and I attend, the senior pastor used the above passage for his message, and as I’ve been using NRSV recently, the silence part really popped more than usual this morning.

Sheer silence.

I love this rendering. God spoke to the prophet in absolute, unmitigated silence.

I can imagine it like one of those cinematic scenes in a movie where all the sound drops out as the protagonist has a moment of pure clarity.

Being of the transition generation (analog to digital), I remember the world before the internet, cellphones, cable TV, etc. I remember silence in ways that is seemingly much harder to find today.

That’s why I sit with Jesus on my porch most evenings and try to just listen.

Listen to the wind.
Listen to the birds.
Listen for the Lord.

In doing so I find myself striving to hear without the interference that has ensnared many of us. Admittedly I fail often, and eventually reach for my phone as the addiction to technology and social media needs its fix. After all, the false sense of connection found in endless zombified scrolling is just palatable enough to convince me, to convince us, that it’s real.

But the Lord is not in the scrolling.
The Lord is not in the rabbit trails of Google.
The Lord is not in the carefully curated and filtered false reality we project for likes and comments.
The Lord is in the sheer silence.

So, don’t find your reason, being, purpose, connection, etc in the noise. As the Lord asked Elijah, so he asks us…

“What are you doing here, [insert your name]?

Lord have mercy.

As this Lord’s Day closes, may we intentionally seek to (re)discover silence in a world filled with a cacophony of sounds, of noises, of unnatural congestion.


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The views and opinions expressed on this site are those of Jason A. Hess, and not necessarily those of the CEEC / DOR, or any local church / event where he may minister or attend.