Last weekend, I drove to work with two jars of muddy water in my car. The illustration was simple: the human soul is like a jar of river water. Shake it up and everything gets murky, let it settle and we can see more clearly. Of everything I said in my seminar that night, participants remember the jars of water best.
I first encountered this illustration in Ruth Haley Barton’s book, Invitation to Solitude and Silence. It was my junior year of college and the reality of future changes loomed. God used that book to name the chaos in my soul and invite me to live differently.
I wish I could say I’ve been faithful to God’s invitation to silence as a regular practice, but that just isn’t true. Much of my life is lived in a chaotic sort of normal, and times of silence are more often a treat than my bread and butter. Most days I cave to the easy but hollow forms of rest offered by my phone apps rather than reaching for practices that truly still the chaos.
Silence is way to chart a new course for my soul, and silence is a place of clarity I need right now as I navigate a world permanently altered by the pandemic. What about you?Continue reading “Normal Has Wings”