A Time to Be Silent
With all of the hustle of life in the city, it was rejuvenating to spend time in the country with those who mean the most to me.
Everyone has “those days.” You know, the kind that can wear you down and wear you out.
My day, however, stretched into weeks. Between a hospital stay, a child to raise, a job, and a PhD program, I was burning the candle at both ends, as they say. I needed rest. I needed time to be silent at The Stream.
Ecclesiastes 3:7 speaks of “A time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak.” It was my time to mend. My time to be silent. At first it felt foreign — not getting up at 4:45 a.m., working on homework, getting ready, going to work.
A Time to Rest
I went fishing a few times. (So I didn’t land the big catfish on the dock. He got off the hook just before I could swing him over the railing. My husband says that’s why they call it “fishing” rather than “catching”).
The beauty and quiet of the lake was rejuvenating. Even though our little four-year-old Caleb scared all the fish away by running up and down the dock and banging a trash can lid against the can. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that quiet, but it wasn’t Dallas traffic, either.
I visited my elderly aunt who can’t see well. We tried to find an open thrift store but weren’t successful. That afternoon we made homemade banana pudding, pecan pie and chocolate pie. She’d already made peach cobbler. We had more desert than dinner that night and it was delicious. She talked about her marriage of 50 years to my uncle, and weeped about the hole his death left in her heart. We talked and cried and laughed and talked some more.
Our family went to Granny’s house in “ooweesiana” in four-year-old speak. I looked at old photo albums and talked with my mother-in-law about her kids growing up. There were pictures of old friends, now gone. Lots of smiling babies and a few crying ones. We took a walk to one of Granny’s shut-in friends. We talked about how busy we were chasing Caleb around.
Sometimes on a drive we looked at new houses and dreamed. We wondered how anyone could afford such a place. They were mansions, really, with wrought iron railings and faux candles flickering outside. Beautiful, but for us just a dream.
The swamp tour at Atchafalaya Basin, the nation’s largest river swamp, was my favorite part of the trip. It was three hours of mostly lazy drifting through the wetlands. We saw many species of birds as well as alligators and a snake or two. A couple of houseboats sat by the shore and moss dripped from the trees.
I spent my time enjoying the beauty of the country, unburdened from normal daily demands. “He has made everything beautiful in its time,” Ecclesiastes 3:11 says. Everything beautiful. In its time. Even me and my hectic and often chaotic existence. As I allow Him to work on me, He’s making my life beautiful.
I needed time to get away and reflect. I needed time to be with my family, to take care of what’s precious. I needed time to relax. And I did — laughing and talking, baking and fishing with those who mean the most. Getting outside and enjoying God’s world around me did wonders for my soul. It was my time to be silent.