(Irony alert! I’m about to use words to describe the wordless.)
When I went to Sky Farm in April, I was afraid God wouldn’t meet me there, and in a way, God didn’t. I arrived uncomfortably full of other people’s words about God. I needed interior privacy, a time to let other people’s ideas wait outside.
“I needed the silence to be deafening,” Jennifer Knapp once said in an interview, and I can relate. (I wish the interviewer had asked her more about that silence.)
Part of me was ready to abandon the whole idea of a God who can be known. What are we playing at, hanging words all over God?
Maybe arriving with that question is what opened me to the one who did meet me at Sky Farm: the Great One, plain and powerful. A silent and undecorated presence, pouring out life—life that includes death.
Near this presence, I knew myself to be loved. And I noticed how much clutter I bring to the encounters that present themselves to my unseeing eyes every day—things I saw so naked and large and heavy at Sky Farm.
The deepest clutter in my everyday life isn’t my material possessions, it’s my words and habits of thought. I realized how far I am from simplicity, from an uncomplicated ability to give and receive love, from the transparency of having no clutter, like the birds at Sky Farm.
I wonder if a thunderous silence rolls right out of the heart of God—an enormous, slow wave that deafens us to the superfluous when we are caught in its path.
The silence flows beneath all of creation, and someday it will overwhelm me and pull me under for good, whether I’m ready or not.
It will submerge me, along with all my words.