Saturday, August 15, 2015

Find Your Voice

I mopped the floor this morning and cried.

I played the piano and grieved.

There is some sorrow in me that seems to be lurking beneath the surface. Life is so busy, so constant, so noisy that there is little time for silence.

/ / /

As a follower of Jesus, there are times when it is clear to me that the guiding principles offered by his life, by the book, are so true to our humanity that it is almost ridiculous to assume otherwise. We get so caught up in righteousness and winning culture wars that we overlook this one simple fact:

We are human.
We need help.

Be still, and know.

/ / /

I mopped the floor in silence.

I mopped the floor surrounded by an orchestra and the lyrics of one of my favorite songwriters.

I bent to my knees, sharp and ragged on the linoleum, and I wiped clean the coffee stains that had dripped down the cabinets.

I remember when this kitchen was new; one of the only things in my life, other than my children, that I have tended from the very beginning, when it came into being. It was shiny and new, then; now it carries stains and dust and sticky spots that are burrowed so deep between the cracks in the drawers that they will never, ever be removed.

These are the signs of my own life; I made these stains. This is the remnant of my living, my being - cooking and cleaning and celebrating and resting.

I scrubbed spots that I could see and thought, "This is not the life I want to be living".

And the tears bubbled up in that moment, recognizing some discontent in me; some broken thing that is best evidenced in the busy and the bidding and a sheer inability to fix the broken things around me.

Broken things, and broken people.

/ / /

Rumi says this: Silence is the language of God; all else is poor translation.

And I know this to be true, because I heard Him today.

/ / /

Just a few weeks ago, I walked the dusty Texas dirt, winding my way through the corridors of a
stone-strewn labyrinth. There was a rhythm to my walking, a metronome of insistent questioning that slowed, eventually, to a stroll. I laid down my inquisition and meandered.

There is a sense, in a labyrinth, of being almost there - but not quite. Several times you circle close to the center - close to the end - but yet you have steps to take on the marked pathway. This is life, too, I suppose; you see where you want to go, while you still have a course set before you. And perhaps the walking takes you elsewhere.

This is where I am today, the Be still and know finally giving me space and time to let the silence speak.

When I came out of the labyrinth, I found - to my amazement - that I had been saying this phrase, three words, over and over, that were in my heart and caught up in my throat, reverberating loudly, surely, somewhere above and beyond the Texas sky.

Find your voice.

/ / /

A mop and a bucket. Silence. An orchestra and a woman's poetry. More silence.

The gentle whir of a ceiling fan whipping the melody I found on a 40-year old Baldwin spinet, breaking the silence with purest form of honest language I possess.

I sat and played piano in this empty house,  from my heart to a quiet room and a moment full of everything that is, quite simply, life. This season of silence and noise, peace and turmoil, questions and knowing, stillness and going.

Find your voice.

I am.

9 comments:

Hope said...

This is so beautiful. It stills something within me.

annie said...

Yes, beautiful, and so full of truth.

Amy Tomlinson said...

Amen…I have had the same lingering feeling today. Is it the change of seasons, school starting, unending demands of life….You are not alone.

Rebecca Parker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca Parker said...

Gosh...you did it again. You found a way to bring transparency to my life thru your prominent & anointed words. My voice has been lost...missing too and it's rather uncomfortable for someone like me who depends on my voice to make sense of my steps. My voice that's hiding is not the common everyday speech but rather the rivers of living water that refreshes my spirit man. Life, noise, talents, expectations & asssignments have been thrown over my voice...silencing it like a creature under a boulder. Your voice sheds light on mine. It inspires me to go find it...and...be His. Not theirs. Love you Beth!

Dana Brawley said...

Thank you for this, sweet friend!

Dana Brawley said...

Thank you for this, sweet friend!

Dana Brawley said...

Thank you for this, sweet friend!

spookyrach said...

Finding your voice in silence - cool. I'm glad you are listening. And speaking.