A Seasonal Lesson: The Absence of Words

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If it weren’t for the changing of seasons, we wouldn’t know when to start and when to stop.

And if it weren’t for the presence of words, we wouldn’t know how to appreciate the absence of them.

It’s hard to accept it, when you’ve had a steady stream and then suddenly, all’s quiet.

My first instinct is fear, fear that nothing will pick up, that I’ll never have anything to say, ever again.

But instead, I gather myself back together, and remember the promise of never alone.

And I curl up by my dear celosias, and I open An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor.

For a few weeks, almost every day, I let her speak for me, let her say to my heart all the thoughts that are jumbled about, all the stagnant possibilities pooling within.

Trusting God is a strange thing, but learning to read and know myself is even harder sometimes.

So for the summer, when every creature gravitates to rivers and chlorinated water, I’ll be there, listening, taking in, paddling a kayak, quieting, and hoping for a few words here and there to keep me connected to the people around me, my brothers and my sisters.

They are the ones who are also taking in and listening, also reading themselves and giving thanks for the season’s change, and all the good it brings.

I need to get deeper into the heart of God, so that He can pour more into my emptiness. Maybe there will be words in that space, maybe not.

In the meantime, we keep entering, keep searching and asking, seeking and knocking. We keep hoping and knowing, keep uttering Hallelujah for all holy things.

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