You Hold the Key

Ever get something in your head?

It’s nothing you heard

Or something you read

Ever had a cut but you never saw a blade?

Brought to your knees

But you never prayed

Ever feel like you been somewhere before?

You hold the key

You know which door

Speak the word your lips have never known

Because your heart

Told you so

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Strength to Ask the Right Questions

[Reposted from Edmund Rice Christian Brothers]

When Elie Wiesel was liberated from Buchenwald in 1945, having also been in Birkenau, Auschwitz and Buna, he imposed a ten-year vow of silence upon himself before trying to describe what had happened to him and over six million Jews. He believed that to try to write of the experience was to cheapen the memory of the suffering of those who had died – so unbelievably horrible was it. He was persuaded to break his self-imposed silence because he came to believe that to forget the past and the evil that had taken place was a greater dishonoring of the dead.

In his book, “Night” he speaks about how he came to be the sensitive person he was, how he tried to find God and how he “lost” God, until he discovered himself anew. Speaking of his early search in childhood he writes:

I found a master . . .  for myself, and Moshe the Beadle.

He had noticed me one day at dusk, when I was praying.

“Why do you weep when you pray?” he asked me, as though he had known me a long time.

“I don’t know why,” I answered, greatly disturbed.

The question had never entered my head. I wept because – because of something inside me that felt the need for tears. That was all I knew.

“Why do you pray?” he asked me, after a moment.

Why did I pray? A strange question. Why did I live? Why did I breathe? “I don’t know why,” I said, even more disturbed and ill at ease. “I don’t know why.”

After that day I saw him often. Moshe the Beadle explained to me with great insistence that every question possessed a power that did not lie in the answer.

“We raise ourselves towards God by the questions we ask God,” he was fond of repeating. “That is the true dialogue. We question God and God answers. But we don’t understand His answers. We can’t understand them. Because they come from the depths of the soul, and they stay there until death. You will find the true answers, Eliezer, only within yourself!”

“And why do you pray, Moshe?” I asked him.

“I pray to the God within me that He will give me the strength to ask Him the right questions.”

What Would You Ask?

This little video is under two minutes, but it is powerful.

Children and young people who are helped by the international mission “Compassion International” are asked, “If you could ask God one question, what would you ask?”

Their questions are deep and poignant. The funny thing is, just before watching this clip, I watched one where random people on the streets of America were asked the same question, and without exception, the questions of these children overseas — who have so little — are far more soul-searching, touching, and speak of their gratefulness for and connection to God.

What would you ask?

A Time of Silence

silence in the nightFor me, He was always a speaking God. A Father, ever ready to give an answer to His child.

To direct.

To lead.

To guide.

To show the way.

But there must also be moments when He is silent, when night falls and we cannot see even the faint glow of the moon, much less the brilliant light of the sun.

It is not for our lack of listening, of reaching forth to Him with our questions and heart cries. Like Job, we might ask a thousand questions, but receive no answer until it seems almost too late.

Like His only begotten Son, we might feel tempted to cry out, “Why have you left me alone and forsaken?” feeling His face has been hidden from us.

We see His light shining after every night of darkness. We see it illuminate the beauties of His creation. Plants, flowers, grass and trees. Birds that sing into the newborn day. Cats that stretch and find a place to soak up the sun’s warm rays. And us, the human race, rushing to get ahead as a day brings another set of trials and triumphs, joy and pain. The illumination, for us, often just means another stretch of time in which we must fight for survival and maintain a joyless existence.

Where is He, He who shines the light of a new morning into my life each day? Where is He, Whose illumination is mirrored in the lives of so many around me, yet I feel untouched by the warmth? Where is He, who spoke to me so clearly as a child, guided and directed, instructed and loved? Where is He, Whose way I promised to follow all my days?

How can I follow if I cannot see a footstep or hear a word?

My eyes close at the end of another weary day, the clarity and direction I seek still evading my grasp. Yet, as I relax, I feel a gentle sway and a firm and steady gait. I tense, until I finally hear a whisper from deep within my heart: “Relax, My child, just close your eyes and rest.”

My eyes close once more, and once more I feel the steps resume, and I, simply held. I do not see His footsteps, because I am in His arms. I do not hear a word, for He is not giving direction.

He is carrying me.

Where He is heading, I do not know. What I will see about me when my eyes finally open to the morning sun, I do not know. Why He has chosen to carry me now rather than asking me to walk beside Him, also I do not know.

I do know this.

My Father knows the way. His footsteps are sure. And I can rest completely in His loving arms.

[Reblogged from: A Word Fitly Written]

All-Embracing Silence

a word in the silenceGod, where are you? …

Speak to me! Teach me!

Rebuke me! Strike me down!

But do not remain silent. …

You have revealed yourself as the speaking God . . .

Why are the heavens made of iron for me?

Job, I know, experienced you as the hidden God. And Elijah held a lonely vigil over earthquake, wind, and fire.

Me, too.

O God of wonder and mystery, teach me by means of your wondrous, terrible, loving, all-embracing silence. Amen.

– Richard Foster, Prayers from the Heart

The Word in the Silence

I cried out to His name

But all I heard was silence

He who the earth proclaimed

Before me now was silent

A simple answer, all I sought

A yes or no or maybe not

Just a word my hurting heart besought

But all I knew was silence

Does He hear my call,

He who now is silent?

Is He there at all?

If so, why the silence?

Does a pleading cry

Bring Him yet a sigh?

If He knows the answers why

Then why is He still silent?

And so I plodded on

Though all around was silent

I heard a low soft song

Carried through the silence

‘Twas not a word

But love I heard

My courage spurred

And I worked on in silence

A whisper in the trees

Was what I heard in silence

A call within the breeze

An answer to my silence

The night’s refrain

A gentle strain

Majestic, plain

It was the sound of silence

I had been so absurd

I smiled in the silence

If He is called the Word,

How can His voice be silent?

We oft fail to hear

He who is most near

The soul sheds a tear

But He is still not silent

He whose voice formed the seas

Sounds through them to the silence

He whose touch is in the breeze

Moving, shaping through the silence

His voice is everywhere

In all things lovely, fair

In the wheat among the tare

The Word can ne’er be silent

[Reprinted from “A Word Fitly Written“]

A Bold Message

Moon in the Night“His hand is heavy in spite of my groaning.
If only I knew where to find him;
if only I could go to his dwelling!
I would state my case before him
and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would find out what he would answer me,
and consider what he would say to me.
But if I go to the east, he is not there;
if I go to the west, I do not find him.
When he is at work in the north, I do not see him;
when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him” (Job 23:2-5, 8-9)

“One bold message in the Book of Job is that you can say anything to God. Throw at him your grief, your anger, your doubt, your bitterness, your betrayal, your disappointment – he can absorb them all. As often as not, spiritual giants of the Bible are shown contending with God. They prefer to go away limping, like Jacob, rather than to shut God out. In this respect, the Bible prefigures a tenet of modern psychology: you can’t deny your feelings or make them disappear, so you might as well express them. God can deal with every human response save one. He cannot abide the response I fall back on instinctively: an attempt to ignore him or treat him as though he does not exist. That response never once occurred to Job.” – Philip Yancey, Disappointment with God

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