A Meeting of Roses
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"A friend of mine recently told me about ... an encounter with God in silence. As she sat in silent waiting, she felt filled with an overwhelming sense of what God wanted her to do, and she received the power to do it. Included in God's word to her was an urging to be more loving. "I was amazed at how much more love I had for my husband," she said, "whom I already loved dearly. But I was even more amazed at how I could look at the formerly creepy panhandler outside the coffee shop with love, instead of my usual critical eye."
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The above account, from Bill J. Brent, in Holy Silence: A Gift of Quaker Spirituality, reminds us of what is most important about times in worshipful silence - somehow, without our knowing how, we see differently, we feel differently. This is to say we become love. Like love plants in a greenhouse, we gather in silence. This silence together is a habitat for nurturing the innate goodness within us.
One likely will experience the sense of presence is magnified when in silence in the physical presence of others. Yet, even if apart, we remind ourselves we are with them. Silence has no privacy. Silence is communal. When you are in silence, you are there with many in silence throughout the world. More broadly, you are there with all beings, whether they are in silence or not. We are all entering this sanctum together.
This transformation into love by love arises in silence principally through passive waiting. The waiting is not a doing; it is a being awake. Our habitual doing tends to put us to sleep, in the collective sleep of distraction.
Silence wakes us up. We see the natural radiance, or in terms of the Christian Scripture, "Awake you who are sleeping [a euphemism for death] and arise from the world of the dead" (Eph 5.14).
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*(C) Brian K. Wilcox, 2021
*Brian's book, An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, can be ordered through major online booksellers or the publisher AuthorHouse. The book is a collection of poems based on wisdom traditions, predominantly Christian, Buddhist, and Sufi, with extensive notes on the poetry's teachings and imagery.