…the cold waking you as if from long sleeping, then you can understand how, more often than not, truth is found in silence, how the natural world comes to you if you go out to meet it, its icy ditches filled with dead weeds, its vacant birdhouses, and dens full of the sleeping. But this is the slowed down season held fast by darkness and if no one comes to keep you company then keep watch over your own solitude. In that stillness, you will learn with your whole body the significance of cold and the night, which is otherwise always eluding you. ~Patricia Fargnoli from “Winter Grace”
So slowed down and immobilized by the rain, the cold, the darkness it can take every reserve I’ve got to embrace another day
yet embrace I must clinging to the knowledge
that even in stillness and silence I love and am loved.
He who has come to men dwells where we cannot tell nor sight reveal him, until the hour has struck when the small heart does break with hunger for him;
those who do merit least, those whom no tongue does praise the first to know him, and on the face of the earth the poorest village street blossoming for him. ~Jane Tyson Clement from No One Can Stem the Tide
In the somber dark
of this blustery near-solstice morning,
when there seems no hope for sun or warmth,
I hunger for comfort, knowing
there is solace only He can bring.
He calls me forth from where I have hidden,
buried face down in the troubles of the world,
hiding amid my quilt and pillows,
fearing the news of the day.
Only God can glue together
what evil shatters.
He just asks us to hand Him
the pieces of our broken hearts.
If I grab hold His offered hand,
I’m lifted –
my emptiness filling–
back into the light,
reaching for a new day
One dark night, fired with love’s urgent longings —ah, the sheer grace!— I went out unseen, my house being now all stilled. In darkness, and secure, by the secret ladder, disguised, —ah, the sheer grace!— in darkness and concealment, my house being now all stilled. On that glad night, in secret, for no one saw me, nor did I look at anything, with no other light or guide than the one that burned in my heart. – St. John of the Cross (1542-1592)
Sure on this shining night Of star made shadows round, Kindness must watch for me This side the ground. The late year lies down the north. All is healed, all is health. High summer holds the earth. Hearts all whole. Sure on this shining night I weep for wonder wand’ring far alone Of shadows on the stars. ~James Agee
We have waited in silence
on your loving-kindness,
The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him. Habakkuk 2:20
Then hear now the silence He comes in the silence in silence he enters the womb of the bearer
in silence he goes to the realm of the shadows redeeming and shriving in silence he moves from the grave cloths, the dark tomb in silence he rises ascends to the glory leaving his promise leaving his comfort leaving his silence
So come now, Lord Jesus Come in your silence breaking our noising laughter of panic breaking this earth’s time breaking us breaking us quickly Lord Jesus make no long tarrying
When will you come and how will you come and will we be ready for silence your silence ~Madeleine L’Engle “Ready for Silence”
In our weakness, we are so noisy.
We think strength
is in shouting and shooting.
Instead we broke you,
we break each other
We have forgotten the power
of waiting in silence,
waiting for your silence,
so come now
clothed in our weakness,
to carry us home.
A new Advent Hymn from Redeemer in New York City
O come, Desired of nations, Whom priest and prophet long foretold, Will break the captive fetters, Redeem the long-lost fold.
O come in peace and meekness, For lowly will your cradle be: Though clothed in human weakness, We shall your God-head see
O come, Divine Messiah, The world in silence waits the day When hope shall sing its triumph, And sadness flee away.
~In Silence, Advent hymn from Redeemer Presbyterian, New York
How silently, how silently The wondrous gift is given! So God imparts to human hearts The blessings of His heaven.
~from “O Little Town of Bethlehem”