On Being Still
|March 2012 - The Western Wall, Jerusalem|
Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty.
I don't concern myself with matters too great or awesome for me.
But I have stilled and quieted myself, just as a small child is quiet with its mother.
Yes, like a small child is my soul within me.
O Israel, put your hope in the Lord - now and always.
His face rested against the great stones of the Wall, and he was perfectly still. All around him was noise and movement and commotion. Hasidic Jews swaying and chanting loudly in prayer; Jewish boys, surrounded by older male relatives, performing their bar mitzvah ceremonies while their mothers and sisters showered them with cheers and candy in celebration; foreign tourists and pilgrims snapping pictures and talking excitedly about this amazing historical site; people placing folded prayers written on scraps of paper into the very cracks of the wall...and there he stood...so still...so quiet...so at rest and seemingly at peace. And out of all that was taking place, it was this still, quiet man, with his face resting against the stone, that caught my attention and touched my soul.
Two night later I returned to the Wall with my daughter, to pray and thank God for His many blessings, and there he was. The same man in the same spot, with his face resting on the very same stone as I had seen him two days earlier. As I stared, dumbstruck at this man's ability to simply rest in the presence of God, a Jewish man who had been collecting prayer books and returning them to their rightful place stopped next to me, pointed at the man, and said "every day". Every day the man comes to the Wall, to be still and rest in God's very presence. I opened my bible and read the next psalm of ascent as I had been reading through them all...Psalm 131..."I have stilled and quieted myself, just as a small child is quiet with its mother. Yes, like a small child is my soul within me."
I have little stillness in my life. Ministry is busy. Home is busy. Life is busy. Stillness and quietness are commodities that I seemingly can't afford right now. And yet they are probably the exact things I need most in my faith walk. To simply be still and quiet, and like a small child, to rest my face against the face of my Father in Heaven, who loves me and cares for me. To feel the steady heartbeat of God as I sit within his embrace, reminding me that my hope is found in Him. Now and always.