"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light” and there was light." Genesis 1:1
This passage begins with the void. It is no coincidence that God creates from nothing.
After a workshop this weekend at Powell House, the Quaker Retreat Center in Old Chatham, I came to realize just how filled up I am and how important it is to "make space for Spirit."
The void. The silence. Mindful waiting. Whatever you wish to call it serves a powerful purpose in our lives. In a practical sense it is "pause button" on a very full life, but on a deeper level, it affords a creative opportunity like the one revealed in Genesis.
There is work to be done. It is God's work, but it can be hard to discern it in the cacophony of daily life.
I thought the young woman, Emma Gonzoles, who spoke during The March For Our Lives found the silence to be powerful and galvanizing. It seemed to me that she might have pulled a page from the Quaker playbook.
The six minutes and twenty seconds of silence gave the "pause" needed to let the devastation of gun violence sink in. It also allowed a nation to see and feel the pain that Congress has caused by its legislative inaction on this issue.
The void can be a frightening place; as is any unknown, but embrace it anyway. It is on the edges, in the discomfort, that we grow.
This moment of silence on Saturday has made me very hopeful. Hopeful to see young people grasping ahold of their destiny and also hopeful that in the silence we can find a new creative path.