1 Kings 19:11-13 "He said, 'Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.' Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, 'What are you doing here, Elijah?' " (NRSV)
How do you expect God to speak to you; in a loud voice or in a whisper? Well, Carrell Jamilano, from California, expected God's voice to come booming from parted clouds, when she was young, but it never happened. So she felt that God did not care about her. But this reading from the Bible reminded her that God often speaks to us not in earth-shattering ways but in stillness and quiet. It was through "a sound of sheer silence" that Elijah heard God's voice.
When Carrell's grandmother passed away, she could not stop crying. So wishing to be alone, she hiked up a mountain close to where she lived. She sat on a rock some distance from the main trail and the distractions of modern life. There, she just let the tears flow. During that time of grief, she knew that God was near. In the silence, God comforted her through the warmth of the sun. In the silence, God renewed her with the coolness of the wind, and, in the silence, she sensed God saying, "You are not alone. This is not the end. You will see her again. I love you."
In the silence, God's voice becomes clear. God wants to show love for us -- to respond to our struggles, joys, frustrations, dreams, and all that is in our hearts. In the silence, God speaks.
Dear heavenly Father, Help us to quiet our hearts so that we may hear you more clearly. Amen