Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Shocking Silence

When I was reading the passage I quoted yesterday from 1 Kings 19, I read it in both the New Revised Standard version and The Message. 

Look at the difference at the end of verse 12:
  • New Revised Standard: and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.
  • The Message:and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper.
To me, those are very different phrases.  A gentle and quiet whisper is not insistent. It is a sound that waits for us to look - without intrusion of interruption.  A sound of sheer silence doesn't sound gentle. It sounds shocking. Intense. Radical.

I think God can be either, but I think, in this case, at least for me, the sound of sheer silence is the better phrase to describe what happens. Maybe I only feel that way today, and with another reading, I'll be struck be the gentle whisper.

Where in your life are you confronted by a God that speaks in a shock of sheer silence? What about a gentle whisper?

And we shouldn't ever forget that God, being God, can also come in the earthquake and fire.

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