Irony number two: There's something about silence we need to hear. Imagine the experience of Elijah below:
And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a thin silence.
1 Kings 19:11-12
So often we jump to the end of this experience, the thin silence - which is important. But the beginning is in many ways frightening and terrifying. Rocks on a mountainside cracked and rendered in half by the mere presence of God. A wildfire from nothing raging right outside the cave. These evidences of God's power and authority speak to who God is. And yet it is the stark contrast that is important. The thin silence. It is intimate and humble.
When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
"Let all mortal flesh keep silence, and with fear and trembling stand."
Raw exposure of our souls in a connection with our God and Creator is terrifying. Elijah is fully exposed in his brokenness.
But God's response to those who come is gentle and humble. A conversation.
And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
And God listens to Elijah. Would that be your expectation of the scenario? A God who listens to us in dark moments? Or, the opposite of the spectrum, a God who rejoices in your joy? Or, even more astounding a God who choses to come, to become Incarnate?
King of kings, yet born of Mary, as of old on earth He stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture - in the body and the blood.
May you have a raw conversation in the silences you experience this week when the Spirit asks you, "What are you doing here?"