Sunday, July 18, 2010

Quiet Treasure

A friend wonders (and worries, methinks):

"Where have you gone?"

I reply:

"Treasure Hunting in a Quiet Cave."

* * * * *

Pages from my Journal:

July 9, 2010

I have found this quiet niche. Silence flows around me as the heat of the day persists into evening. I will write . . .

July 18, 2010

Sweet Silence.

Quiet. I love the sound of the word “quiet” as it slips past my lips – hushed tones, sweet invite to peace.

I have been blessed with quiet these days: A way through the forest of life. A silent path taken by many a pilgrim throughout the ages.

With feet firmly tethered to my homestead for this sun-kissed season, I nestle down in the cool afternoon retreats, I stroll in the twilit evenings, and I sit quietly in the hours following a new day’s dawn.

No parties. No guests. No busy-ness. Simply quiet days that I fill as I go. This has been a most marvelous gift. I cannot recall such a time in my life . . . EVER! All health is good, worries flat, outside calls null. Without a landline to home I have not even the blinking box of recorded robo-nonsense to handle. Without a sodden schedule of “musts,” I find freedom to be . . . as I am . . . just as I am . . . and it is wondrous good.

Hereabouts reading becomes diving expeditions wherein the seeker finds treasure and delights in recounting the journey, displaying the jewels uncovered, and dreaming of those still to be found. Evenings suffused in gentle candlelight under the starry skies entice all to linger, and in lingering we relax, relate, unwind, blossom. It is a way of life gifted to me . . . us . . . all who pause . . . and wait.

The silence carries immense quantities of treasure; but sadly, all too often the flurry of hurry in life masks sight and the treasure lies overlooked.

Now that I have tasted of such sweet, unhurried peace and quiet I hope NEVER to battle the flurry of hurry again. Now when loss occurs, I will sit still. When pain stabs, I will sit still. When fear grips, I will sit still. I want to hear His voice.

. . . and after the fire a still small voice.
1 Kings 19:12

Wind, earthquake, fire . . . He was not in these. His voice rested in a quiet moment after the passing of the clamor. I have sat amongst the rubble in quiet . . . I have found that the voice remains still small – ever constant. My silence bears more fruit than cries or activity or pleas ever have. My silence says it all . . .

Thy will be done.

The peace surpasses all.

Each “need,” “want,” “hope,” and “hurt” fades in the midst of this incredible peace. I cannot comprehend it . . . as He knew I wouldn’t:

. . . the peace of God, that passeth understanding . . .
Philippians 4:7

I do not understand it, cannot describe it, will not try to peddle it to seekers. Instead, I will remain at peace with the doorway open to all. I have no monopoly. I judge not the merit of others. I only know this peace – unlike any I have ever known.

Am I in a chrysalis? Have I walled away from the world? Am I swallowed up in sorrow? No, I’m in His presence . . . abiding . . . nourished on manna . . . protected by His wings . . . satisfied by His promises.

When I step into the world and taste/see/smell the tangled ways of life, I recoil. The many LOUD, bright, noisy, competitive calls for attention buffet me; without my cloak of peace I must don armor. I must resist the temptation to walk in the old ways: judge, compete, outshine, perform . . . The pull, the memory, the natural inclination tear at my very fabric. What do/will/have I gain(ed) from this fleshly walk? How have I changed at rest in the peaceful place? Can I retake my old stage? Do I want to? Questions tumble. I hear others goad and chide me for “escaping,” for failing to reach out. It stings. The barbs seek and discover my prideful need-to-please nature and lobby me to abandon my peaceful treasure.

Thoughts rush to my lips (or pen). The queries provoke me to launch a defense, but I hesitate . . . look back to the peaceful place . . . savor the memories of truth . . . and drop my weapons . . . drop my defenses . . . step back to peace. I have no wish to battle. I have nothing to gain by hacking down another’s Babel so soon after I have dismantled my own. I risk my peace and tranquility to gain only bloodied bruises.

The still small voice in my heart whispers,

Be still and know I am God.
Psalm 46:10

Tears fall; I sink with relief (or is that re-life?) back into the quiet – the “wings” of life’s stage. My soliloquies will not ring throughout the theater of life. I will not reap applause and adoration on a grand scale . . . only peace and quiet here in the wings with the One who loves me.

As my eyes adjust to the darkness offstage, I see shadowy forms all around me. Silently I reach out and touch. A touch returns and grows into an embrace . . . and another . . . and still another . . . These wings brim with other quiet ones. I never knew . . . I never knew the quiet held so much and so many. Knowing hands clasp and unclasp over time and space, but no words break the silence – hearts do not need vocal chords, or microphones, or even blogs . . .

I settle into the dark, quiet realm . . . and live . . . at peace.

At times the noise of the hearty applause showered onstage snags a memory and a wistful sigh escapes – a wondering – but the quiet hugs me close. When I hear the plaintive wail of a broken-hearted one I part the curtain and beckon, but often times the lure of the applause on a stage tugs at the hurting one, and I have no desire for a tug-of-war. I leave the curtain parted, a shaft of backstage light seeping through – a beacon bathed in dust motes . . . a retreat – and return to the shadows. Having played my time upon the stage, I know the applause fades, the roles lose luster, and the foundations of the stage give way with time; whereas, the quiet never fails.

No one needs hear my treatise. Many will never comprehend the difference between a shamed or depressed retreat and a quiet-seeking journey. I will not waste breath or ink to tell the tale. If the Lord sees fit to call me centerstage, He will use His still small voice – I best not be bellowing my own hot air, lest I miss a true calling.

So here I sit . . . silent and still . . . smiling.

I am here.

I have not gone.

I am silent and still.

I am simply being.

I am . . . with I AM.


scrappy quilter said...

Beautifully written. What a place to be, with the great I AM. Hugs

Virginia said...

What a touching beautiful post, To be able to find the peace of God and rest in it...And be at a place of supreme happiness.
Sweet Blessings,

Anonymous said...

long time, no see, debbie :)
quiet is the most under-rated thing we have.
i'm glad it's kind to you


Kat said...

That last sentence. That says it all. Beautiful.

I am glad you have found your peace.

I have been away from blogging too. I am too busy soaking up this beautiful summer.

Peace, friend. :)

Full of Grace said...

I've popped in every week or two to check on you but I noticed you hadn't posted. Summers are a busy time for sure, it really is nice to have peace and quiet to reflect on all the blessings in our lives. Please do know that we wait for you when you feel an urge to blog :) Have a wonderful Summer!!! :)