Quiet and Quite Spectacular

I’ve never been one of those soft-spoken people. There are those in my life who wish I was.

Having raised six kids, I’ve developed a voice that can carry. I’ve been asked to get the attention of folks in groups because people know my voice can be heard over most conversations. And heavy machinery.

I live a noisy life. I’ve discovered that the way I learn best is talking out loud. Hearing myself confirms what’s in my mind, ideas that get stuck in my head and often refuse to come out.

Probably because they have to fight to be heard with all the other stuff running around my brain.unnamed-1

I recently had an opportunity, with four dear friends, to enjoy some contemplative time at a retreat center. A place just outside the noise of the city, where trees grew thick and the local lake lapped gently on the shores. I felt cocooned in a world of quiet, surrounded by vegetation that would make a rain forest envious.

When given the chance for quiet–for me to actually pause long enough not to talk to anyone–it takes me time to quiet my own soul. To let go of the noise within so I can truly experience silence.

I listened to the sound of the wind in the trees. It was a hushed whisper of a multitude of gently clapping leaves. It crescendoed as the wind became stronger, fading out as the wind dropped.

unnamedI heard a variety of bird calls, including the melancholy hoot of owls. I have friends who are true birders, who can identify which species chirrups and which one trills. I’d have enjoyed knowing more about them. Their songs intrigued me. Some felt light and lovely. Others sounded mournful.

After a few hours I was feeling quite small. Not inconsequential or insignificant. Small in light of the beauty and bigness around me. I can’t look at the grandeur of nature and not be confronted with the reality of a gracious Creator.

I know there are those who deny the existence of God. An all-powerful, all-loving God is too much to grasp, so there will be those who try to explain such incredible beauty as a massive explosion or a process of evolution.

I watched tiny insects, beautiful in their blues and greens, crawl on ancient trees draped with moss. I felt the wind on my face before I heard it slide through the trees in a melody that relaxed me to my very core. I smelled theunnamed-2 arresting aroma of wild magnolias mixed with the pungent scent of algae on the lake.

I saw God around me.

“The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display His craftsmanship…They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.”   Psalm 19:1,3,4

I  appreciate the fact that I can’t explain everything around me. No one can.

But I deeply value the One who knows me, sees me and loves me. The One who made me unique.

Look up at the stars tonight. Imagine how far, how many there are. How massive they are in size.

Be still and listen.

God’s voice is there. If you choose to listen.




6 responses to “Quiet and Quite Spectacular”

  1. Beautiful. Insightful. Tranquil. Take out “multitude” and publish it. Love you in all your loudness. Hey- somebody has to call the crowd to order!


    1. This was a place I knew you’d like–and I thought of you and how you’d know exactly which birds were singing. And it was–possibly–the first time I’d actually heard an owl hoot in nature and not a zoo.


  2. Wow, Dayle, listening to the sounds of leaves! It takes me time to quiet my soul, as well! I better see GOD around me – the ONE WHO REALLY LOVES me! Blessings to you both!


    1. You’d have loved this place, my friend. It was so wonderfully calm and beautiful. The amazing thing was it was supposed to rain all day–and the Lord pushed the clouds away just for us. It was a holy moment–no doubt about that.


  3. Alice Fredricks Avatar
    Alice Fredricks

    I love that same tranquil setting as well to meet with God! It reminded me to purpose to go again someday. I, too, need time to settle myself and “be still” before my Heavenly Father, but what rest and refreshment comes from it! Thanks, friend, for painting that picture for me today.


    1. You are most welcome.


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