by Susan Rigby
January 13, 2021
My house sits between two schools and for years on the first day of summer vacation a transformation has taken place in front of my house. The traffic and the people walking their children to and from school completely stops. The silence in the mornings and afternoons is deafening but welcomed.
The train is another voice that breaks the silence. The tracks that go through Fullerton are heard all day and into the night. They are a reminder of growing up in Virginia where many of my ancestors worked for the N & W Railroad.
Now, in the pandemic, from March or April to September, there was so little traffic in my neighborhood that the streets became playgrounds for skateboards and bikes and ball tossing.
People are walking more in our neighborhood and if I am outside getting mail or gardening in the front yard, I meet people passing by.
But if you’re waiting for some word, some news that things are okay in the world, silence can be upsetting. Waiting can be difficult depending on what you are waiting for. As in, “We’ll call you with the results of your test on Monday,” and now it’s Wednesday and there has been no call. That silence almost seems cruel.
During the pandemic, you may feel that the silence is from God.
So I’m a bit afraid during this pandemic. Afraid of missing what God is trying to say to me.
There was a time between the testaments of the Bible when God was silent for 400 years. There was no prophet in Israel, no one who would speak for God. Then the next thing that happened was the greatest event in history. Jesus was born and “the WORD became flesh.”
Am I ready to ask myself the important questions that the parable of the ten bridesmaids (Matthew 25) asks, for instance?
Is my lamp filled with oil? In other words, am I preparing for what comes next in life? Am I not only looking for God to show up in unexpected ways but do I have an expectation of something good happening that draws me closer to Him?
Is the wick trimmed in my lamp? As in, are there any old, used up parts of my life that need some house cleaning? He speaks, but am I listening?
Am I watching and waiting for the bridegroom to come for me? Will He find me using the resources available and participating in His work?
Am I listening for His voice? What is He saying to me? What is He saying to you?
I want to be ready.
Making the house ready for the coming of the Lord
By Mary Oliver
Dear Lord, I have swept and I have washed but
still nothing is as shining as it should be
for you. Under the sink, for example, is an
uproar of mice; it is the season of their
many children. What shall I do? And under the eaves
and through the walls the squirrels
have gnawed their ragged entrances but it is the season
when they need shelter, so what shall I do? And
the raccoon limps into the kitchen and opens the cupboard
while the dog snores, the cat hugs the pillow;
what shall I do? Beautiful is the new snow falling
in the yard and the fox who is staring boldly
up the path, to the door. And still I believe you will
come, Lord: you will, when I speak to the fox,
the sparrow, the lost dog, the shivering sea-goose, know
that really I am speaking to you whenever I say,
as I do all morning and afternoon: Come in, Come in.
Susan is spending time watching for what will happen next and asking “what is God saying to us?” . . . especially about the true nature of the church.