Waves

Written by hootenannie on March 7th, 2011

Part of the inner world of everyone is this sense of emptiness, unease, incompleteness, and I believe that this in itself is a word from God, that this is the sound that God’s voice makes in a world that has explained him away. In such a world, I suspect that maybe God speaks to us most clearly through his silence, his absence, so that we know him best through our missing him.
-Frederick Buechner

I know people who have active, vivid dialogue with God – they speak to him, and they hear his voice respond.  I am not one of those people.

When I talk to God, I am usually answered with silence.

Most of the time, it’s not that I think that God is not there – but, like Buechner says, perhaps his silence is meant to create a longing that I wouldn’t otherwise have.

And for me, these days, does that longing ever exist.

On Friday, I sat at the edge of the Caribbean, listening to the water hit the sand.  It made me think of a line in Alli Rogers‘ song “Closer to the Moon,” when she sings of listening for God’s voice:

“It’s in the aching that you know there’s something more.
I have never heard even a single spoken word,
Except the rhythm of a wave upon the shore.”

The steady pulse of ocean waves reminds me of the voice of God – it’s one of the biggest reasons I miss living in Seattle.  There is a comfort to the sound and the pattern, wordless as it is.  When I feel frustrated and anxious and doubtful that he even exists, the ocean somehow, inexplicably, brings me back around to truth, calming my heart and soothing my fears.

I’m back in a very landlocked Denver now, after 7 days in Haiti.  A mere week was not enough time to even scratch the surface of the culture, the language, the people – but sitting by the ocean on my last day was the best way to wrap up the first of what I hope will be more trips.  Listening to the waves reminded me that God is still there in Haiti, in the midst of the poverty, the devastation, and the crumbling homes – and he is still here in Colorado, in the midst of my sadness, my uncertainty, and my crumbling home.

7 Comments so far ↓

  1. Mar
    7
    8:58
    AM
    Eric

    if you get a chance to go to the back side of Vail, you will get the same feeling as going to the beach. most beautiful place i’ve ever seen.

  2. Mar
    7
    9:32
    AM
    Greta

    Heavy sigh.

    Wish we could go for a walk Annie.

  3. Mar
    7
    10:24
    AM
    Erin

    gosh you write well.

  4. Mar
    7
    11:13
    AM
    Anya Elise

    Though it is but a small comfort, know you’re in our thoughts and prayers, Annie.

  5. Mar
    7
    11:39
    AM
    Sarah Kate

    C.S. Lewis says something to the effect of “We will never be truly happy/full/satisfied on this earth because we were meant for so much more.”

  6. Mar
    7
    1:43
    PM
    Pamela

    I find my deepest solace in outdoor exercising. As soon as you can, get back on those 14ers. I have nothing but certainty that they’ll help you find some deep, silent answers.

    Always <3ing you from Nashville.

  7. Mar
    22
    12:08
    PM
    Jacque

    This is such a beautiful and touching observation. It made me cry (in a good way).

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