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Hearing Everything

Becky Eldridge reflects ironically on the noises all around her as she seeks silence on a young adult retreat this week. It is there that she finds God all around–in parties, music, baseball bats and in helicopters searching for a murderer:

Turning back to the young adults breathing deeply in the silence and in their time with God, I found myself overcome with the understanding that God was somehow in all of these moments at the same time: God speaking to each young adult uniquely in their silent prayer, God celebrating within the joy of the party, God savoring the experience of community at the baseball game, and somehow, at the same time, God was in the search for the young man (helicopters on a hunt for someone who had shot a cop the day before), comforting the family and friends of the fallen police officer and comforting the family of the man on the run, and offering wisdom during the decisions of both the man and the officers who sought him.

An amazing moment for Becky where the whole world just comes alive.

Ignatius reminds us that God is in all things, holding us all together in what I often call “dynamic tension”–including the good and the bad alike. Much like the wisdom literature where the age old question of not just bad things happening to good people, but even moreso, good things happening to bad people, is explored. God is in the midst of all of it.

And so are we all. Perhaps that’s important to reflect on today.

There is much to pray and reflect on. There is much to notice. Can we even remember all the needs of those who ask us to pray for them? Do we bother to slow down and even see (or hear!) the vast amounts of things going on in the world?

It reminds me of this scene in Superman Returns:

Perhaps this is just a glimpse of what God (rather than Superman) hears–or more likely how we might perceive how God hears us.

But what do we hear? Are we deaf to the call of the poor or the downtrodden? Do we hear even our neighbor’s cry for help? Can we listen with intent for the unspoken cry of another close to us–when we know they are just slightly “off key?”

The good news is that God listens this deeply to all the recesses of our hearts. All of us. Perhaps we are called to the silence each day so that we might be able to pray and respond more often to what we hear and to even hear what we most are in need of ourselves.

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One thought on “Hearing Everything

  1. Denise says:

    Thanks for continuing the conversation on silence (yes, I see the irony there too). I think you’re on target about why we need silence to be a regular practice in our lives, instead of an accident. May we all listen to the silence more closely.

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