Silence and life’s many passages

Been silenced by a few big life’s passages the past 2 weeks: the death of Fr. Piet; our youngest sister getting pregnant at the most inopportune time; my other sister’s separation from her husband; the birth of another nephew; and an ailing father. It’s a paradoxical exchange of birthing and dying, always reminding me into silence of the temporariness of my time-restrained existence.

At times, life’s routine seems smacked of a standstill reality, of nothing-seems-happening, of a movement almost imperceptible to the human mind. But no – am too is on a passage and every single day is a tiptoeing into what my mortal, sacramental body also stands for: a being-unto-death-unto-transformation. Every birth transforms, if not give new meaning to a woman’s body. Every reasonable separation is a freeing of the mind and the body. And every transformation often happens beyond human calculation. Unlike external change too often measured by human metrics, in transformation there’s not much to know when it happens. Or even talk about. It is more interior. Should we say Christlike in its simplicity or insignificance. Or humility. It simply happens with its own measure of unassuming seductiveness. In silence it happens. In the most surprising murmuring of grace if one is open to grace especially. On the surface, I see only the pain of my sister out of her fallen relationship. But everytime I remember her in my prayer moments, my consciousness of her situation also deepens. I sensed her decisiveness, her radical “no” to infidelity and irresponsible wastage, her commitment to her personal project of raising her 3 kids no matter what, not to mention her courage to bear the burden of loneliness of working in a foreign soil. She has her own Mt. Tabor to climb whether she is aware of this or not and every climb never assures of an easy passage.

When the trails get noisy, impeded by many a distraction to their own transformation, I pray that the solace in silence where the Word of comfort and assurance of co-travelling waits be theirs. Often, it is only a matter of listening to Silence and in silence the power that calms every storm, that drives every demon into the cliff.

Through life’s many passages, I am often silenced. Through Silence, I am also redeemed from its burden. Because He listens to transform you and me. In silence…

Photo credit: jan.norlund


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