On Saturday, I rode out on my motorcycle to see my friend Dave, who invited me out to a rental property he and his wife, Dawn, own just east of Charlottesville’s airport. It was a beautiful ride on a beautiful Spring day. I took the back roads and arrived mid-afternoon as he was mowing grass as he does every other week.
I took a tour of his property which includes a total of about 20 acres, part of which is open field fronting on the Rivanna River. It was a gorgeous piece of property. He said loves to come out and spend hours on one of his two mowers, normally with his son, Clark, who helps him. He says, “It gives me a chance to be with my son. Sometimes we just sit on a tree stump and talk and enjoy God’s creation.”
Before I left to head home, we hugged, and then there was a pause. A gentle breeze blew through the trees and there was no noise except the sound of the new leaves rustling as breeze traveled through them.
Pastor Brandon did something unusual at church yesterday. After the worship music portion of the service, he explained that silence is a gift from God, and then he had us sit in silence. He said, “This may be the most spiritual thing you do today.” And as I sat there with my head in my hands, at first I heard people getting settled in their seats. But the longer I sat there, my mind shifted from the here and now to that brief moment Saturday as the breeze blew through the trees. As I sat there, I realized that the brief moment of silence with David was a gift of God. It was a moment of His presence… of His grace… of His love. And as I sat there in siilence, His presence again saturated me and, frankly, I began to cry, overwhelmed by His presence and love.
Silence is a gift from God. It helps us separate from the clamour of this world. It allows us to hear that “still, small voice”. It allows us a chance to experience His presence, His grace and His love.
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)
It’s not easy. It’s awkward and uncomfortable. Pastor Brandon broke the silence by saying, “That half hour you just experienced was three minutes.”
It was the best three minutes of the day. It WAS the most spiritual thing of the day yesterday… and the day before.