Daily Practices for Lent: Day 5

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I sometimes think my hearing is worse than it used to be. I find that if I am in a loud room or restaurant that I have to lean in to hear precisely what is being said. It actually takes a lot of work for me to be in a loud space and have a conversation. I have to concentrate fully on the person in front of me, remove all distractions that I can control and often ask that the person with whom I’m talking repeats him or her self.

For this reason,when I really want to hear someone, I ask that we meet in a quiet place. A place with little out side distraction and sit where I can hear fully and not be distracted by all that goes on around me. When the important things are discussed in quiet, I am able to honor and carry those things into louder or more distracting places when I am with the same person.

Quietness is difficult in culture. Many fear it. It can feel foreign and vulnerable. It can cause one to feel restless and uncomfortable. For, in the quiet one can hear and be heard. That space is highly intimate and creates connection and also reveals things that can be hidden in noise or business of life. Jesus often went to a quiet place to pray. It is a place of intimacy and reminds me of the garden pre-fall where Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed. There is a certain nakedness to quiet. For me, quietness with a person can feel  more exposing and vulnerable than even telling the secrets of my heart.

I believe being quiet with Jesus can feel the same way and this is why I believe it to be a great gift to us. Isaiah 30:15 says, “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it” Quietness is a place of vulnerable trust.

Today our practice is: Quietness

Quietness is a posture of stillness. It is a silence. It is free of all distraction.Today, you are invited to be quiet with Jesus. Take yourself to a room without your phone or computer or a TV and be still. Center your mind on Jesus. Maybe set a timer for twenty minutes and walk away from it. And for that time, breathe in deeply and as you breathe in repeat the name of Jesus. It takes time to quiet one’s heart and mind, do not shame yourself for the noise that lives in your mind, simply reorient your thoughts around Jesus when they go in other directions. Continue to speak the name of Jesus and remain in a place, centered around Jesus, in the quiet of a moment.Stay here, simply being with Jesus for twenty minutes.

When your time is up, listen to this songBe Still My Soul

Pray: Father, creator of heaven and earth, thank you for inviting me to deeper relationships with you through your son Jesus. Thank you for your all  consuming love and for the presence of your Sprit. I pray today that I would know your presence in my soul  as I am quieted before you. I pray that the quiet would change me and invite me to deeper intimacy with you. Grow with in me a quiet spirit, that wrestles not with the world, but submits all noise to  you. Amen

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