There was no moon on Thursday evening. Thick clouds covered the sky and the wind-shield wipers were keeping time with the October wind howling outside our van. We weren’t on any great mission, just grocery shopping, but I have come to appreciate the days of normal errands in the midst of this crazy time.
It was quiet. The best husband had one hand on the steering wheel, the other hand holding mine. It was a good, peaceful silence, the kind that has moved from awkward to comfortable over the space of twenty-five years. Sometimes, we don’t need to fill the moment with anything other than our being together, it’s a warm, satisfying silence.
When the groceries had all been put away, I listened to that howling wind from the depths of my duvet. It was the thought of silence that I couldn’t get away from…
It’s been quiet here lately, in my heart, my spirit. I have moved from months of constant dialogue with the God of the universe, to silence. There are those times when scripture seems to be given daily, when words of affirmation, guidance and truth are loud and you know what to do, where to go. Chatting with the God of the universe, listening to his response is like breathing.
And then suddenly it’s quiet. Too quiet. It seems to me that when we’re in these trenches, when the fighting is the most difficult, that’s not the time for silence! The clouds have settled thick in the sky, howling winds beat against the door and eventually we end up staring at the sky, screaming into the wind…
Where are you?
And I think this is where I’ve gone wrong.
This silence, this trench, this time, is not a punishment. It is not a test see how well I can do on my own.
Because we were not created to do any of it on our own.
Jesus does not get up and leave. Instead of lifting my head to scream at a darkened sky… I turn my head and
He. is. there.
Beside me. Emmanuel, God with us.
He is sitting in this trench, his back against the rough stone wall, knees pulled up to his chest, just like you and I. His outstretched, nail pierced hand is waiting for ours.
There is a time to sit, holding His hand, in silence.
The floor of the trench is thick with the mud of unanswered questions, rough-hewn walls smeared with salt water smudges, and He’s OK with that. He knows all of it. His presence is enough. It’s time to move from awkward, to comfortable silence. Content to be together, the way we were created. One hand holds His, in the other I hold the words and promises He’s given and I don’t let go.
And your trench? The word etched in your stone walls may not be illness. It may be grief, loss, or pain. Your hands my be raw as well from carving the words overwhelmed, undone, broken. There may be little footprints covering the floor, and no more room for one more toy, one more tear,one more sticky hand print. Bare trenches, empty of children grown or small, echo in hearts and on the wind.
Every trench has a Grace gate… can we walk through it? Reminding each other;
Silence does not mean we are alone. There is nothing, ever that we need to do on our own.
He has not left, He never will. In that promise, in His presence… there is joy. Instead of screaming at the sky… let’s turn our heads and take His hand.
Blessings on your day,