When You Crave Quiet, And Whispers Of Hope.

I have been craving quiet lately. I’ve been taking an extra few minutes before I emerge from underneath my duvet in the morning, just listening to nothing more than the sound of my breath. (It gives the impression it’s wonderful and insightful, until I fall back to sleep and wake up late!)

Dishes and laundry are usually accompanied by a playlist, but the past few weeks I have let silence be my companion. Even last week, when I was sick with a cold, I welcomed the silence a sore throat and scratchy voice afforded. I’ve listened less to social media, more to the musings of my own heart and the updates in my spirit. I think it’s because of the season.

In the quiet, we listen for the new things, the things we’ve forgotten, and the things that change us.

Everything is waking (even if we thought it would never come) and we’ll miss it if we don’t take time to stop and listen. Spring is a call to quiet, to listen to the earth as it keeps its promise, responds to the creators call and breaks open with new life.

I drove in the almost-quiet this morning to an appointment. Rain was falling in a steady, insistent beat on the roof  and the wipers were busy keeping time. While I was waiting at a stop light, a church sign caught my attention. They’re having a pancake breakfast this week, for Palm Sunday. I spent the rest of the drive remembering.

I have purchased fresh palms for waving as part of many, many services. More years than I can remember we traced little hands on bright green paper and fashioned palm fronds for Sunday school. My memories are a sharp contrast to my craving for quiet. Palm Sunday is loud, and boisterous, accompanied by shouts of  Hosanna!

{“Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!” John 12:13}

  But on those days in Jerusalem, what began with shouts of praise and accolade, turned to cries of “crucify him” and then silence. I wonder if Mary sat and listened to nothing more than the sound of her breath and her tears? And all the things the disciples knew, but were afraid to believe. All the words He had spoken about returning and the kingdom, had they taken root? Had they gone deep enough in their hearts to offer up hope even in the midst of silence and grief?  

Because whether it’s a snowstorm  in April or a huge stone placed in front of a tomb,

the deep roots never doubt.

And maybe Spring is a call to listen to the promise in us, to the roots of hope that lay deep in our spirit. It’s the call of the creator urging new life. His body broken for us means new life can break open in us. In the silence there are whispers of hope. Those roots, they’re covered with love. Infinite, extravagant, unconditional Love. Love that lived and died and moved a stone for us. 

Sunday will be the beginning of holy week, and whatever that means for you, can we settle in to this… 

Can we walk through this week, making time for quiet? When we get to Friday can we take time to listen with only the sound of our breath and our tears? Can we let the deep roots remind us, there are always whispers of hope? Can we walk through these days hearing His heartbeat like never before: We. Are. Loved.

Let’s allow this Easter break us open to new freedom, life and light in our good God.  

     Walking with you in everyday Grace, 

 

When You Need A Reminder

They’re sitting quietly in the back of the van, which is unusual for six and nine year old boys. I take the quiet moment and use it to talk because we have things we need to discuss. I tell these sweet boys, we need to come up with a plan for our after-school time.

The last two days have been too full of crazy, and they need a reminder. I love our time together, it’s a good, fun, safe time. But, it is neither fun nor safe to argue, fight and hurt each other. When I ask them if they agree, there is only quiet and nodding heads.

 The stoplight turns red, and I peer behind me at their thoughtful faces. “So, what do you think?” I ask. What could we do to make sure our time together is great and you are in a good place when mom comes to pick you up?”

The light turns green and we are halfway down the next block before there is a small voice from the littlest in the back seat. “We could be not so rough with each other?”I smile at him in the rear-view and tell him that’s a wonderful idea!  While we weave our way home, we keep working on the plan. We chat about brothers and how love is important.

“Sometimes, I think you get so focused on what you want, you forget. It’s a good thing to remember.”

Breaking his silence, the nine year old says, “Will you remind us?” I tell him that’s a perfect idea to add to our plan. We decide before it gets out of hand, before we lose the good and safe and fun, I will remind them about behavior, about treating each other well and I will remind them about love.

Long after I have cleaned up the snack and they’ve said goodbye, I’m still thinking about our conversation. These brothers, learning to navigate growing up, are not the only ones who need reminders. My own heart needs to hear those words.

“Sometimes, I think you get so focused on what you want, you forget. Its a good thing to remember.”

Love is important. It’s what we’re called to. All of us. And the more we know and experience how much we are loved by the God of the universe, the more we’re able to walk in that calling.  We’re better able to love  others well, as we are loved. 

I need to be reminded. In the busy of the everyday, in the crush of all the things life seems to toss our way, sometimes I forget. Any chance you do as well? Maybe we need a plan. A few words from a friend that will help to shift our focus off of the crazy and back to the safe, loving arms of our good God. He loves us, completely, extravagantly, and infinitely. When we live out of that love, it changes things! Today and everyday our hearts need to hear this reminder. Wherever you are, wherever you’ve been, no matter what it looks like or who is telling you otherwise, the beautiful truth is this:

You Are Loved! 

    Walking with you in everyday Grace, 

 

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