Once again I keep still…

As so often, I was troubled yesterday by my consciousness of the troubled world around us, and by the multiplied and often contradictory calls to activism, to get up and do something about it… and I thought, I don’t know what to do. I don’t understand how this incessant awareness of the grief and pain of the world, and of all its individual creatures, human and otherwise, can draw together with my ever-increasing heart’s call to silence and contemplation. And it occurred to me that not knowing is the precondition for the Holy Spirit’s presence to my own confusion and distress.

I don’t understand – but in that failure to understand I am again in the centre, in the cleft of the branch, in the “intersection  of the timeless with time” as Eliot wrote*; in the very name of Jesus, in the prayer that his name is. If I don’t know where I am, then I am found; If I don’t know where to go, then I am led.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust…
Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all day long.

Psalm 25.1-2a; 4-5

And once again I keep still under the shadows of the leaves that the wind moves.

*There is an interesting meditation on this passage of Eliot’s, and how it may connect with Karl Barth’s commentary on Romans, here.

2 thoughts on “Once again I keep still…

  1. Pingback: Head over heels in the surf… | Silent Assemblies

  2. Bill Rushby

    Thanks for sharing this meditation. I also feel overwhelmed by ” incessant awareness of the grief and pain of the world…”, and my own grief and pain! Too frequently, I don’t know where I am or where to go! I cling to faith, hope and love in Christ. Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us!!


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