Wednesday, February 20, 2008

silence = community

One of the biggest surprises from my five day silent retreat was how much the spiritual discipline of silence has to do with community. At first glance, five days alone seems selfish and self serving, doesn’t it?

And yet.

How many times do I turn to people––to my husband, my church, my friends––desperate for them to meet my needs? Oh, it may not come across as desperate. But it is.

Don’t get me wrong. Many times it’s appropriate to turn to friends and spouses and our faith community for support. It’s a good and healthy thing to reach out for help when we need it. But sometimes the loneliness of my heart is so deep that only God Himself can satisfy it. To go from person to person hoping for them to fill me up enough will only leave me hungering for more. And more. And more. And more. I’m never satisfied.

And so I am learning to go to Jesus. To sit with Him. To listen. To share the truth about my neediness with Him. To open up the deep places of my soul and allow Him to fill me.

And in that filled up place, community is richer.


MamaToo said...

wisdom, dear sister. pure wisdom.

L.L. Barkat said...

Oh, this is good. How truly insightful.

Llama Momma said...

thank you, Mamatoo. :-)

LL -- It's so basic, isn't it? And yet I was really struck by how ready I felt to truly embrace people when I came home. To be present to them in a way I've never been able to before.

Marmot Mom said...

Wow, this is gold, Llama. It's overwhelming how faithful He is to reveal Himself every time we reach out. I'm thinking five days alone probably equals a couple of years with everyone else...

Llama Momma said...

Marmot Mom -- God is so faithful. And, yes, five days without distraction was huge. There are no words for it, really.

23 degrees said...

Wow. Makes sense but I never expected to hear this. Making room for silence makes room for so much.

Discipline of silence.

Makes me think of long periods of silence I have while driving or hunting and how rich they can be in relation to where I point my heart.

Great thoughts.

Thanks, LM.