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Monday, March 18, 2013

...a sound of sheer silence.

I'll be honest with you.
I've tried to pray.
But I don't think I do it right because, while my part of the conversation can often be lengthy and verbose, I find that I'm always ending up supplying God's end of the conversation too...through fairly creative attribution.

I can remember back to my college days when I got the phone call that informed me that my dad had finally succumbed to cancer and how I ventured out into the freezing cold night and climbed to the top of the bleachers at Lindstrom Field and beneath a heaven of harsh twinkling stars, concluded the conversation I'd maintained for several years regarding a possible healing miracle. I don't know what I was expecting...maybe an apology... maybe a pat on the back, or a hug.  I had to settle for the usual ambiguous silence.

I'm always jealous of the Old Testament characters who actually got to talk to God.
Here is part of a story about Elijah who is on the run (in fear for his life), and seeking a dialogue with God on the top of the mount of God.

He (the Lord) said (to Elijah), "Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by." Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.
1st Kings 19:11-13 (NRSV) 

"...a sound of sheer silence." was another candidate for a possible theme for my photo exhibition. I have to admit, the story above doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Elijah and God evidently talked all the time, before and after God's theatrics on the mountain. I guess what I resonate to is the idea that it isn't until Elijah hears the sheer silence, that he is drawn to stand at the entrance of his cave and...listen.

I suck at prayer. I can't stand before a court and honestly say I've ever heard God's voice. But I have heard the sheer silence...and here are some of the places I listen.


Kansas Cemetery 

White oak in a labyrinth

Moon-rise on Bybee Lake

Goldendale on the way to the observatory

In-between storms in the Columbia Gorge

Wahkeena spring




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