But I’ve missed you.
This week, I’ve been reflecting on gratitude and silence.
First, gratitude: The other night my son asked to sit at the head of the table over dinner (usually a position allocated for mom or dad). I agreed, so long as he’d lead us in our mealtime prayer. We bowed our heads and then he said it, haltingly and a bit bashfully: “God, thank you for everything. Amen.”
Thank you for everything, God. Out of the mouths of babes. Thank you, God, for bats in the attic (which, I might add with more gratitude are now gone) and beautiful fall days…for the chance to play Sunday morning hookey and for the life of Ms. Marilyn at the assisted living center who died suddenly but peacefully last week…for the sweet sadness of Time’s passage and It’s joyous spillage into eternity…for friends and family and life itself. Gratitude, as I often say here, quoting Karl Barth, is the mark of a Christian. But are we really grateful for truly everything? I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not.
And then, a meditation on silence—perhaps apropos in light of my own reluctant silence of late here at this intersection between life and God. A review copy of Oxford historian Diarmaid MacCullouch’s latest book, Silence: A Christian History, arrived last week, which I’ll be reviewing in the week to come. All the times when the church has chosen not to speak across the centuries—and why— just might serve as a lens through which to view the powerful role silence might play, for better and for worse, for the church of today and tomorrow, insofar as she seeks to love her world. I suspect there’s much fruit to be had here.
Until next time, may your week be full of gratitude and holy silence.