“Silence is golden”
The truth of this statement was proved when we gathered at Sharon's cottage for a silent retreat, April 6. For some of us, it was an eagerly anticipated event; for others, the thought of an entire day spent in silence was daunting. Invited to follow a guided meditation, we were given run of the house and beautiful lakefront property to explore questions and be open for what God might have for us. Throughout the day opportunities were taken to sit and pray or to take long walks on roads previously unexplored, creating space to hear what the Spirit was saying more clearly.
After lunch in silence (!) Sharon, sensitive to our need to speak a little, gave us opportunity to consider some questions aloud; but by then something interesting had happened. Even the most extroverted had come to appreciate the silence and it was agreed that there was actually not enough time to unpack all the things we were being invited to!
My invitation came about in a very unique way. It was sunny. Warm enough to sit by the lake and enjoy the sounds of the birds and the gurgling water under the ice nearby. I had taken my Bible, my journal and my sketchbook and no sooner had I set out my books and pencils, than a black and white border collie showed up at my elbow with a ball in its mouth. I sat there regarding liquid, brown eyes, petting silky black hair, wondering what would come next. Trotting away, she dropped the ball, turned and looked at me, tail waving gently. All in utter silence. Then I knew. This was my invitation. This was my dyslexic “dog” moment. Picking up that very wet ball, I played fetch with a stray dog for the next 20 minutes, in complete silence. I didn't stop smiling and even as I write this, that smile is still there. I learned that sometimes, God's invitation, no matter how I prepare for it, has the power to surprise and delight. This silence was gold.