Let me come to be still in your silence


On Wednesday, the 19th of April, I attended a Zoom meeting organised by Praxis who hosted a speaker by the name of Trevor Hudson, a deeply prayerful man. The following blog is a partial sharing of Trevor’s teaching linked with teachings I had been experiencing in my prayer-life prior to Trevor’s talk. As they came twice, (perhaps, I wasn’t listening the first time) I thought I’d share these teachings with you for your reflection. There is no commentary just a short personal sharing which set the process in motion.

The Good News

Having relayed a story, Trevor started his talk saying that the Good News of the Gospel is “the availability of the Kingdom and the availability of New Life” before encouraging us to interact with Jesus, meaning to interact relationally. In so doing, he brought to mind the following.

Poem by Pablo Neruda[1] – a relational interaction

At the end of January, I had a particular experience. Following it, I sat in quiet prayer. The Silence eventually descended, and I heard the “small still voice”[2] saying “I like for you to be still: it is as though you were absent, and you hear me from far away and my voice does not touch you.” And immediately, I became aware that ¾ of me was present but not my soul – I wasn’t “interacting” with the Lord.

As the Silence continued, so did the small still voice: “Let me come to be still in your silence. And let me talk to you with your silence.” I then dissolved as my soul heard the profound compassion and gentleness in this invitation. The more I dissolved, the more I “poured out my heart to the Lord.”[3] I then heard the faithful words: “Find your Peace in me” “Dwell in me” “Make your home in Me.”

I was then drawn to read from Henri Nouwen: “It’s in the confession of our brokenness that the real strength of everlasting life can be affirmed and made visible”[4] or as noted in Pete Greig’s Lectio Divina[5] during Holy Week: “The greatest gift God ever gave us was not His action but His surrender.” And so I surrendered, the more I was listened to and received.

Trevor said that “sharing my life with Christ isn’t about giving Him information that he hasn’t already got, it’s about giving Him access into my life” … When I interact with Christ, I share my life with Him in intimate conversation.”  

With reading more Scripture, I found myself picking up Nouwen’s book on Spiritual Direction and in it I read: “the real power of the Word lies not in how you apply it to your life after you have heard it but in how it’s transforming power does it’s divine work in you as you listen. [6]

Then on Wednesday Trevor expressed it more like this: “Jesus dwells in His words. When we keep company with Jesus in the Gospels, He steps out of the Gospel as a living Presence and begins to do stuff that He alone can do in our lives. It’s a way of deep, deep interaction.

On Holy Thursday, I picked up The Universal Christ by Rohr. I read “The Eucharist is an encounter of the heart” [7] with Trevor saying something similar: “the deep interaction that happens in worship and very deeply in the Sacrament – Christ comes to us… whether you call it the Lord’s supper or Communion or Eucharist, Christ meets us in that space.”

To conclude, I thought, I’d adapt Neruda’s lines as follows:

Lord, let me come to sit with you in your Silence
And let me come to accompany you in your Gospel and dwell with you there.
Lord, let me come and be with you in community, worshipping you in mutual sharing
And let me come and be still with those who are suffering, to witness, validate and stand in solidarity, championing them.
Lord, let me encounter you in the Eucharist and recognise that as you took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it, I too am taken, blessed, broken, and given to others.

Theme photo by Andraz Lazic on Unsplash

[1] Neruda Pablo Poem XV I’d Like for You to be Still. https://www.poetryinternational.com/en/poets-poems/poems/poem/103-22620_POEM-XV (Accessed on 20/04/2023)

[2] 1 Kings 19:12

[3] Psalm 62:8

[4] Nouwen Henri, The Return of the Prodigal. London: Bell & Bain Ltd 1994 (88)

[5] Greig Pete, Lectio Divina Holy Week 2023

[6] Nouwen Henri, Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith. London: SPCK 2011 (90)

[7] Rohr, Richard, The Universal Christ. SPCK, London: Ashford Colour Press, 2019 (138).

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