A couple of weeks ago, I made a list of things I want to get done before I head off on vacation. Things like clean out my e-mail inbox, catch up on correspondence, update our parish record of weddings and funerals; generally clean up my life. So the last few days I’ve been on something of a tear—I deleted or filed about 2500 old emails. I cleaned out the bag I carry my stuff in, and tidied my desk. I’m not done, but there’s some order emerging from the chaos!
I don’t know about you, but these days I find myself craving silence. In the midst of the din of distractions, disturbing news, and the daily noisiness of our on-the-go, accessible culture, I seek silence. Of course I love many sounds: music, birdsong, the voice of my granddaughter or other loved ones, but I yearn for silence. I love the waves breaking on the shore and the cry of the gulls, yet, I long for silence.
“O hear my song, thou God of all the nations; a song of peace, for their land and for mine” (This is My Song, words by Lloyd Stone). Who among us doesn’t need more peace these days? Among the nations, of course, but also in our own lives. Who among us doesn’t need more hope, more understanding, more reconciliation?
We began our service this morning singing about “The Sweet June Days,” and these days I’m finding myself particularly struck by beauty of this season—stopped in my tracks by the sight of a flower or the song of a bird or the warm light of summer. Perhaps it’s because I’m also struck, these days, by a heightened awareness of all the pain and suffering in our world. The other night, my heart was heavy with the stories of those children and parents arrested and separated at our southern border. I sat alone for a while and tried to just hold that pain and that sadness, and not turn away from that suffering.