The Conversation Starts
I talk on the phone. I talk on the phone a lot.
I work for an insurance company, taking calls as people report auto accidents, or call in to add a vehicle to their policy. Call after call, 10 hours a day, four days a week.
I work in a call center with nearly 200 other representatives. Even when I am not on a call, I can overhear several conversations, sometimes dozens of conversation, taking place in the cubicles around me.
Often, it is even noisier on the other end of the line. Sometimes, people call from the scene of the accident, and while talking to me are also talking to family members, or police, or tow truck drivers. Speaker phones pick up background noise. Some people call while tending a crying baby. Others call while they are in the drive-thru at a restaurant, and I get to eavesdrop on their order.
It is said that there is no music without the silence between the notes. I can testify that there is no conversation - or at least, very poor conversation - without sufficient silence.
Many of us spend our lives with one or more electronic devices constantly on. Political rallies and sports arenas are filled with noise - and exhortations to get even louder.
None of this is bad. But, where, amid all this noise, are we able to hear the "sound of sheer silence" (1 Kings 19:12; NRSV) in which the voice of God is heard?
"Be still," Psalm 46 encourages us. "Be still, and know that I am God."
The conversation starts by being still.