Earlier this year we attended church with our son and his wife who live in another province. We enjoyed the entire service but one part of it stood out for me. Although I can’t remember his exact words, the acting pastor asked members of the congregation to call out the name of one of their favourite hymns; since I am a lover of the traditional songs of praise, I found this both informative and refreshing.
There were the usual joyous songs of praise: “At the Cross” and “Glory to His Name”; songs of hope such as “When we all get to heaven” and “Oh Beulah Land”, and of course, the beautiful worship songs such as “Jesus, the very thought of thee” and “Fairest Lord Jesus”. Although I didn’t call out any titles, many others crossed my mind and thrilled my heart. It was one called out by our son, however, that really got me thinking. “Blessed quietness”, he announced and immediately there was a collective moment of unsolicited silence. I haven’t forgotten that moment and the impact of his response.
I have always lived in a high-energy mode, whether it was in parenting, operating my own business, church involvement or community volunteerism. Too often “blessed quietness” ranked as a luxury rather than a necessity.
My husband’s recent health challenges, along with a conscious decision to limit my writing to these columns, a monthly opinion piece for a provincial agricultural publication and the occasional article for a local magazine, brought an enforced slowing of my activities. At first it was painful, now I’m wondering how I ever lived without time to enjoy solitude and serenity.
I’m also learning, in more than theological terms, the meaning of Jesus’ instruction to his disciples: “Come ye apart and rest awhile”.
Blessed quietness, holy quietness, what assurance to my soul