Pauses

The lightning and thunder have passed, and the downpour is now a soft rain. Everything’s plugged back in. The two hour electric hiatus is over.

Aunt Norma’s memorial service was on Saturday morning in Eliot, Maine. My three cousins and three siblings have taken up their routines again, as have my parents. The three hours for remembering and sharing as a family are over.

Not much causes a significant pause these days: sickness, vacation, birth, death, weather, a weekly church service for some. The blue laws are long gone. Society no longer has a mandated sabbath that offers a weekly break in business-as-usual. Only a major happening or presentation puts a comma in life’s sentence these days.

A big exception to this is a library. Walking through its doors is walking out of the world’s busyness. Books, chairs, artwork, and people of all ages inhabit this calm and quiet place. Without raised voices or a show of strength, librarians keep the peace and help each person find just the right poem or novel. The only quick footsteps come as little children find their seats for story time. It is a gentle place, quietly offering the knowledge of the ages to patrons of every age.

For whatever reason, usually I’m unwilling to grow or change without a lot of noise and flash; I might even convince myself that I can’t grow or change without blaring and glaring events. But my weekly walk through the library doors – the place of still, small voices – begs to differ. Great big worlds are beckoning quietly – an invitation to pause and grow hiding in my weekly schedule. It is a place for seeing God’s great big world and finding my place in it. How about you?

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

2 thoughts on “Pauses”

  1. Thank you for helping instill a little quietude into my life with these last two blogs, Johnna. For me, i know I must make a conscious decision (or be “intentional” as the word of the last decade would intone) about my quiet time. As for many, I imagine, it is in the morning. I have a kind of prie-deux in my office at home that calls me to worship even when i feel compelled to answer a few more emails–and sometimes I listen to that call! Whatever it takes to allow that “still, small voice” to gently bubble up and not just my iPod.

    1. Why is it so hard to find quiet? Inner and outer are both elusive…thanks for your thoughts, as always. They are a gift. peace, Johnna

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