In this moment of silence there is a stillness all around me. I can breathe in deeply while letting the crisp air fill my lungs. It’s peaceful, nice and quiet. Refreshing, to say the least. This moment. This silence. It goes from one minute to two to three and while breathing it in there is something else here. Movement. Movement in the stillness. But that movement doesn’t come from outside distractions but from inside of me. Not in one particular place but all within me. It’s loud and I just want to move for my mind to be occupied and yet, it’s occupied by unseen movement: It’s like a reverberation of everything at once with no real sense but a vibrating movement. It’s like when two cymbals clash and the sound that comes after the two-part instrument hits. You stop, but everything else seems to keep going. I spend so much time thinking about this one moment. This stillness, this quiet and when I finally sit still, there’s a part of me that’s still going. 

So there is a temptation to not sit still. To keep going, to not stop. To pray but talk the whole way through and not give Jesus a time to respond. To read and gain insights but not take the time to ponder those insights. So what are you then left with? What is left? An unsettling need to keep the noise inside and out for the sake of comfort. That’s what we’re used to because as soon as we stop, the thoughts and reflection of all the things becomes so overwhelming, we don’t know what to do. We can sit through it. We can go through the unsettling and even unnerving silence and the wave of thoughts and emotions that come which we never gave ourselves time to process. But after it’s all settled, after we cried or let the uncomfortable silence or anger or sheer boredom pass, there’s peace. 

That stillness that brings peace. That stillness that lets your soul rest or take flight to unimaginable heights. That is what is promised. That is what is desired. Does it happen all at once? No. We can’t control it but we can help it to come by being still and then letting that practice take us into depths unknown. 

The best part is that we don’t go into the depths alone. We are accompanied. If we let Him, God will guide us through these times of silence and stillness and take us on a journey. The stillness then becomes a story unfolding before our eyes. The story, whatever it may be, gives us insight into who God is and who we are in Him. It may no longer be quiet but that stillness remains and an incredible peace comes. That peace sets us up for our day. To the point where we long to go back to it. It’s needed and necessary. We schedule our whole day around it because it’s the time where we get to meet God. It’s the time where the peace and joy with Him is incomparable to anything else. It’s the time where He fills us to be able to go out again. It’s the time where we are able to have a conversation and be open, vulnerable, and lay it all for Him to hold us, comfort us, and lead us in each day. That stillness brings us face to face with Love itself. 

Encountering that Love face to face changes us. It shows us where we fall short so we can then live in a different way. We see our own errors and we see how loved we are despite them. It gives us a hope that can’t be taken away because it’s something that belongs to the one who is Love. His love is a generous one. Let’s not be afraid to meet Him who first loved us. To have courage to walk into the stillness so that we can be fully alive by the One who is life itself. 

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A reflection on the times we’re living in by Denise Barajas, TLI Class of 2020