When Silence Falls

He chooses the song.  I read the words of the Psalter.  I will sing praises to thee among the nations.  Familiar.  Secure.  True.  He strums the opening intro.  I hear the key, the opening note.  Harmony fills the room like a sweet fragrance.

Pitch is clear in my head.  I open my mouth to add to the melody, but my voice box misfires.  Nothing.  Confused, I try again.  Still no sound comes.  Only silence – a strange phenomenon for one who usually has to keep volume control in mind.

What’s this?  No song to sing?  Only silence.  Yet a peculiar peace calls me to keep it that way, to stay still.

Other voices fill the void that mine leaves.  I hear her smooth harmony behind me, echoing the words of the Psalter.  For thy steadfast love is great, is great to the Heavens.  Hers was the voice that offered quivering prayers while her son lay on the operating table, cranium opened up.  Only two months ago.  Tonight, her song is tinted with a depth that only deep ache in the heart produces.    As she joins the song of the saints and sages from the ages, a new seed a hope breaks forth in my heart.

It must be true. 

I’m teleported back in time, tumbling head-over-heels as my imagination carries me to another place, another time.  Light from the room I find myself in pours out into the heavy night air.  Nearby, a shrine.  Above on the mountain, a temple to a god of gold.  I’m remembering the discouragement, the deep-seated heaviness I fought in that Land.  Silence finds me again.

But in that room filled with light, I hear the same song through the voice of another.  Her eyes closed in worship.  Her heart carries her song on the wind.  And thy faithfulness, they faithfulness to the clouds.  My heavy heart feels lighter, hearing her song of faith.

It must be true. 

Today, I curl my cold toes under a blanket, grateful for the four walls that provide protection from the southern winter wind that blows outside.  The clock ticks.  The heater hums.  I feel peaceful.  Again, within me I sense a nudge to be quiet and listen.  The wind howls “I know you” outside the glass.  The clock ticks “It’ll be ok” from the living room wall.  Life is joining in the song.  Be exalted O God above the heavens, let they glory be over all the earth. 

It must be true.

And inside, a quiet shift.  Things seems to slide into place a little more.  The seeds of hope gain some strength, some courage to sprout a little.  Silence has spoken truth to me—through the song of the saints and the still of quiet.

The things that I hear when my own voice box clears.

I wrote the first draft of this about a year ago.  This week, I pulled it out, dusted it off, and reworked it a bit.  In doing so, I marveled at the steps the Lord has walked with me through this last year.  I was in a dark place when I first penned these words, but He has faithfully led me and brought me to a new place of hope and peace.  Revising this has reminded me of where He has brought me from, and for that, I give Him praise.  

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