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January 18, 2008


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I find the silent God comforting...there is something else going on that I don't know, and I don't need to know ...but He knows, and He has me in hand for good, and all my concern… whatever I see ...or can’t see. Sometimes I am Peter looking back and saying, "What about him?" and God's silent answer, 'Never mind about him, we are talking about you...', or, I am Elijah just off the mountaintop with the Prophets of Baal, and in and out of the valley, with Jezebel, and sitting on the hillside with God who says, “What’s wrong Elijah?” “I want to die!” Or I am Abraham doing a deal with God over S&G (“What if there are TEN?”). Or I am Moses…”I can’t SPEAK! There must be someone else!” … I see a need so great and feel so powerless and angry that it is so, and in the midst of my anger and frustration and pain and fear…His silent response, “Who Am I?”…. You are the Almighty God, You are the Holy One, You are the Judge of All the Earth, You are the Coming King, You are the Mighty Warrior, You are the Gentle Shepherd, You are My Redeemer, You are the Great I AM…. and then sometimes I am Job, overwhelmed yet determined, …”Though He slay me, yet will I praise Him.”…. Crossroads nigh, each step I take. Circumspect I walk. Close my eyes and hold Your Hand, lest I seeing, balk. Fearful though the darkness be, Your control I’ll heed: for all the dark is light to Thee, in the dark Your Face I’ll see, through the dark I’ll watch you lead – and show the path for me… and hope does not disappoint.

Mrs. Falstaff

This was a huge issue for me for quite a long time - why all the extravagant promises of answered prayer? But, Jesus promises that the Father will answer prayer as just that - a perfect Father. If we turn the "if your child asks for a fish, will you give him a snake" around - If I ask for a snake, is the Father going to give me one? Am I always wise enough to realize that I am asking for a snake, rather than the fish the Father wants to give me?


The writing of Reynolds Price is powerful on that question (A Whole New Life). As he underwent quite painful radiation treatments for spinal cancer (that ultimately left him a quad) he spoke about God's silence in his physical agony. While being treated, he said, there was always a 'silent listener' sitting behind a wall to which he could pour out his pain and anger. That listener never answered, but Price was always certain of his presence.


So far it is an interesting approach. He frames it around the time from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday - beginning with Jesus prayer that they may be one, the prayers on the cross, the silence of Holy Saturday, and then Easter.

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blank stare...

  • Copyright Rev. Joseph Walker, St Timothy's Anglican Church

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