In this time of pandemic, many people are struggling with feelings of isolation and loneliness. It’s had the opposite effect on me. For many years now, I’ve lived alone or had one roommate who slept all day, so I spent most of my time alone. Even after I moved in with my daughter, nothing much changed since they were at work all day, and the kids were in school or out with friends. Now, of course, all that has changed! My daughter is working from home, and the school classroom is in our living room. I’m sure I’m not the only one facing this sudden influx of extra personages in your personal writing space. I miss my quiet!
Many people hate quiet. They’d do anything to avoid it, but for us as writers, we need the quiet probably much more than others. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know I am God.” That word “still” means quiet. It’s in the quiet that we can most easily hear the voice of God as He whispers His stories to our ears. For me, this quiet must be absolute. Background noises, including music, must be silenced, not because I don’t like music, but because I do. It doesn’t quiet my soul. It excites it. I want to sing and dance to it. It becomes a distraction instead of the calm and peace I crave. For some writers though, the quiet they need isn’t necessarily physical. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the noise level in the room. Music or the sound of ocean waves or whatever is exactly what they need to calm them.
Some writers don’t even need to be alone. They go to a crowded coffee shop to write. Noise doesn’t bother them in the least. The quiet they find is completely internal. It doesn’t matter. It’s that quieting of our Spirit that allows us to best commune with our Father that’s the important part, however we may find it.
In one way though, I’m taking this verse out of context. Psalm 46 is talking about a time of turmoil, of battle, just like the times we’re living in right now. Things were not quiet, not by any stretch of the imagination. Still, God was calling His people to be quiet, pay attention to Him, relax, and watch Him work. Just as He did for the Israelites, He will make a way for us! Instead of making our own plans, we must cease striving against Him, and let Him lead. The call is simply to rejoice and trust Him. In His time, and in His will, He will bring us through to the other side. His presence is what brings the victory in any endeavor. He will do the same in this one.
Ecclesiastes says “To every thing there is a season” and in verse seven, “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak…” Let us keep silent (be quiet) so that we may listen carefully to the words He would have us speak. The world needs our voice to speak out of our wondrous God now more than ever!
God bless you.
Teresa Pollard is from Richmond, Virginia, A mother, grandmother, and a church worker, her novels are Not Guilty and Not Ashamed with Candi Pullen, and Woman of Light (2016 Selah Award finalist) and Tokens of Promise.