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Silence – A Reflection

October 2, 2021
Setting up for a Shabbat class via Abbey of the Arts

Today Denise and I awoke for the second morning in our own bed. The past two months have been a journey we could never have imagine in our wildest nightmares. 12,000+ miles driving back and forth between Georgia and Minnesota and Alabama. We (Denise, her brother, and I) sat with their father as he drew his last breath. Burying Chase and Christopher’s grandmother (the dear friend and former mother-in-law of Denise and a dear friend who was family to me as well). The boys lost their last biological grandparents within a ten day period.

So much has gone on as we have driven so many miles separately and together. We have also walked with my Dad through the Valley of the Shadows of hospitalization, rehab, and moving within the place where he has lived since 2017.

Denise and I have found sabbath moments in the cemetery at my Mom’s grave in Minnesota and at her Mom’s grave in Alabama. We have found sabbath moments along the Cedar River at The Old Mill in Austin. We have found sabbath moments along the banks of the Tennessee River in Alabama. We have found sabbath moments with very dear friends who are family.

Today’s class on Shabbat/Sabbath through the Abbey of the Arts offered me the opportunity to connect the dots from the past two months. Even as we continue to navigate all of the life situations we find ourselves in, the Spirit offers moments of Shabbat rest. She invites us to simply Be Still in the midst of all the chaos. For Her gentleness I am truly thankful.

Over the next few weeks/months as this journey continues, we will seek those Shabbat moments and embrace them. Perhaps these words of Thomas Merton from his book, The Sign of Jonas will continue to speak to us both as we journey together.

When your tongue is silent, you can rest in the silence of the forest. When your imagination is silent, the forest speaks to you. It tells you of its unreality and of the Reality of God. But when your mind is silent, then the forest suddenly becomes magnificently real and blazes transparently with the Reality of God. — Sign of Jonas, p. 343

This also reminds me of the last lines of Merton’s prayer (from his book Thoughts in Solitude) which has become a mantra of mine.

Therefore will I trust You always,

though I may seem to be lost

and in the shadow of death,

I will not fear, for You are ever with me,

and will never leave me

to face my perils alone.

4 Comments
  1. pynkoski2 permalink

    So pleased you and Denis could find those sacred moments.

  2. Reblogged this on and commented:
    We live in a world and a time when Shabbat moments and experiences just don’t happen. Shabbat moments provide us with the opportunity to better understand the meaning of being human.

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