I haven't written in this place for a long time.
It wasn't a planned quiet.
It just kind of fell, and I'm still not quite sure that it's entirely lifted.
I wonder, kind reader, if this has ever happened to you; this falling of quiet in the channels that your creating naturally flows through.
Have you ever woken up one morning to find it feels best; necessary even, to lean into a growing sense of stillness, not a numbness for lack of feeling and creativity, but a stillness where it all just begs to be known quietly, in the places where expression has not yet wrapped itself up and around it.
Some kind readers asked after me. They wanted to encourage, but all I could offer was a mumble of something that I don't now recall. The quiet was that formless in it's fullness...
How do you communicate something you have not yet fully received?
How can you unfurl in quick, cheerful precision, a journey that is so new, so flinty sharp and heavy in it's tumbling about, that your heart is straining to ride the free fall; finding itself wordless in the process.
It has been equal parts a painful and a beautiful quiet; a season of wonder, of listening, and of abiding growth.
Would some call it a wilderness? I don't know..... Perhaps, but I was never once thirsty or alone.
Were there circumstantial elements that contributed to this long quiet?
Could we blame it on change, transition, identity shift, rejection, straight up suffering?
Of course, all of those players and more have been present, most just playing their typical earthy roles, others lurching with a sharp stitch into my story, but not a single one holding sway as the source to my quiet. No, rather than play the role of cause, these have played the part of seasoning, of augmentation to the quiet's work in me.
I've contemplated a box in which to neatly package and label the quiet,
but nothing fits or closes properly around it.
It has been simply, the quiet.
In recent days, words have started flowing again, not just around, but up and out of my soul,
charging my mind with their clarity, and the urge to put pen to paper or finger to keyboard.
Although familiar old friends, I find them sourcing from new ridges and plains within my soul;
places that must be gently explored.
It is as though the renewed outflow of expression draws me up to a mirror and puts reflective insight within my reach. As I do so, I am catching up to the quiet from behind and discerning what it was all about. I do not find my soul the same as it was before, and I believe this is the point.
I do find clearly, always clearly, this...
The One to whom I am perfectly known, has held me always-fast within the pounding waterfall of a sharp mercy. The sort of mercy that pierces through with freeing death and leaves tender formations of new life in it's wake.
There has not been a cessation of this mercy, but rather under it's rhythm, a new terrain unveiled where the waters flow along new etchings. What pounded in over the last months has begun to gently sift itself into the new shape of my soul, and as the quiet lifts, it can be mapped.
I do not yet know how much of what I received in the quiet is meant to be given voice?
I suspect that, like the sacred secrets of married lovers, there will be much that goes unannounced, but which leaves a lingering glow and new shape across my story.
Of this I am ever more clear:
~There is my Father Majestic
~ There is my Savior wildly loving
~There is His Spirit - now mine, making me His.
The quiet has been good.
My formation in Christ responds.