“Silence is not merely negative – a pause between words, a temporary cessation of speech –but properly understood, it is highly positive; an attitude of attentive alertness, of vigilance, and above all of listening.” Bishop Kallistos Ware.
It’s a balmy summer night, the air heavy and still, accented by the sounds of crickets, an occasional barking dog and children playing in the distance. Lucy lies quietly on the front porch taking it all in happy that the Spanish tiles bring a little relief.
I wonder what God thinks about on nights like tonight? I suspect God likes hot and sultry. He’s certainly not beyond enjoying a summers night. Maybe he’s sitting on the fire escape in his boxers and tank top enjoying a cold beer and listening to the sounds of silence. I wonder who is sharing the silence with him. I wonder whose eyes he’s gazing into…who is gently holding his hand. Is that the radio faintly playing in the background? Is that God’s favorite song – the one that always reminds him of his first summer love? Do they even hear the car alarm on the street below?
There really isn’t much of a conversation on the fire escape tonight and what is being said is without words. It’s hot, sultry and the lovers alert, vigilant and above all listening. They’re not afraid to flirt with each other. So why are we so afraid to climb out the window and onto the fire escape? Does sitting across from God in his boxers, tank top and sharing a cold beer a little too much for us?
That’s the point isn’t it….if we’re not listening vigilantly, lingering in the pauses between the words then we’re not going to hear the invitation to join God on the fire escape. If we’re not willing to listen how are we ever going to know that God is inviting us into intimacy with him? Umm, sharing a cold one with God…. It takes a hot summers night.