Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: NOISE (05/03/18)
TITLE: The Sound of Silence
By Elaine Hemingway
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Early mornings have always been a favourite Quiet time opportunity, before the day draws into general activity of food preparation, breakfast, packed lunches, kids to school, with alternatives taking their place in the passage of years. One such time happened many years ago when I was going through a particularly difficult phase of life’s journey. Jeremiah had reminded me that God knew the plans He had for me, plans to give me hope and a future, but it was hard to see where the good could come out of my situation.
I was on a holiday in England where my parents tried to offer hope and encouragement but they had no understanding of my feeling of desertion. Not being used to discussions on Christianity and certainly not privy to the meaning of my Christianese talk they were at a loss. How could they help; what words of comfort could they offer?
Where was God when I was hurting? I rose early – couldn’t sleep anyway – and wandered down to the beach. No-one else was about, not even early dog walkers. The sun was spilling spun gold over the horizon and only the white pebbles on the sand shone bright and pristine amongst the darker gravel and seaweed left by the receding tide. The morning silence was only broken by my footsteps on the sand and the waves frothing gently, cappuccino-like over the shingle. It was perfect peace, so different from the Indian Ocean which was the closest sea to my home back in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Why, then, was my heart troubled? I could recite the Scriptures, the ones that told me to ‘Fear not,’ the ones that said I was worth more than two sparrows, but my faith was fragile and my self-confidence --- yes, centred on self and my own selfish hopes.
I looked out at the sea enjoying its perpetual motion and hummed one of my favourite hymns, 'Eternal Father, strong to save, whose arm doth bind the restless wave …' then the silence around me was broken by words whispered in the waves, teaching profound knowledge and understanding that has upheld me through the years.
I am with you always … I know when you sit and when you stand … Whether you are in the bush in Africa or on the seashore in England, I am with you. Nothing can separate you from my love. If you go to the farthest side of the sea even there My Hand will guide you…
Oh, what peace came into my heart, brought in the sound of silence.
Yes, the Lord has been faithful every step of my way, and always I remember the whisper …
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