This morning, the alarm shattered the blissful silence of sleep, seeming even louder and more obnoxious than normal. It didn't take long to figure out why. While we were sleeping, the electicity had been cut... not that that is unusual. However it does usually happen during the hottest times of the day, not first thing in the morning. As we woke the tribe and began to get ready for this last school day before Spring Break... by candlelight, of course, I found the loudness of silence somewhat amazing... the loudness of so many other noises that most often escape notice in the continual whirring of fans, our teens' music, percolating coffee machine or budgie birds' morning cacophony just outside my bedroom window - noise that always comes with the rising sun.
Instead, the prolonged sigh of sleepy little girl reluctantly leaving her dreamland echoed while the pattering of bare feet on tile floors filtered into my bedroom. The soft pop of the lid off the peanut butter jar, the gente clanking of silverware in the drawer and the sound of brush untangling long blond hair no longer seemed off-stage whispers, but part of a key dialogue in this early morning episode of life in this home.
Bathroom doors jerking open and slamming closed... the sounds of Sasha the cat crunching a recently demised bird under the air cooler on the front porch... sounds normally lost in the loudness of every other morning were unwelcome, and obnoxious intrusions - adding to my list of little things I still need to do: move the pigeon cage to the carport (we think Sasha likes to terrorize the pet pigeons by eating his winged prey nearby) and teach these kids that they don't have to do violence to a door to simply open or close it.
Still snuggling littlest girl on the coolness of my waterbed, listening to the loudness, first of silence and then of normally unremarkable sounds, I thought maybe the Lord was reminding me that sometimes, He speaks most emphatically and loudly... shouting with a whisper... when I rest quietly in silence, undistracted by my grand dreams, busyness or just the everyday challenges of life around me. Then I can hear, appreciating and giving thanks for the gentle, soft sounds of love, care, goodness, provision and the simple, amazing benefit of His continual unchanging Presence. I can also more clearly hear echoing about those truly ugly things in me that desperately need attention, but that most often I no longer recognize, have forgotten or choose ignore, because I don't like them and don't want to admit they or there or because I have lost perspective and can no longer distinguish how obnoxious and/or abrasive those things in me can be.
Just as an unexpected silence can sometimes seem vociferous, God's still small voice whispers a deafening shout.