The house is eerily quiet. My kids went back to school on Monday, hurrying out the door with nice, clean backpacks in tow, wearing their bright white shoes, a little anxious, a little excited, ready to get back into a regular routine of living in a world apart from me. I’ve never been one to leap for joy when back-to-school time arrives. I have to reorient myself to a soundless house, and in some ways it feels like my natural habitat is muffled, muted, misplaced, and I am just here, a little bit lost.
For the first week I wander through days. I make lists and think of all the things I’ve been needing to accomplish. I notice, for the first time in a long time, the small sounds that are usually only background noise. The dishwasher. The neighbor’s dog. The chime on the washing machine. The occasional car passing by.
For a little while, the lack of noise feels like a great loss. I miss the fun of children: the company, the chaos, the sweet simple things that fill up a mother’s heart and head when her kids are near. I even miss the frustrations. The children leave each morning, and I am left with silence.
It feels like the definition of “Be still.”
But this, like all things that leave us longing, leads me to Christ. In the silence, I find Him. In the loneliness, in the wandering, in the disoriented way that I have stumbled through the week, I see that He is near. He is unchanging, steady, unmoving. He doesn’t grow up and go away. He doesn’t lose sight of me. He is the most trust-worthy friend.
And when I sit in the quiet and I consider the world in all its heartache, when I think of my children shining their light into it, I understand the purpose of this quiet: I am remembering. Remembering that He is God. Be still and know it.