The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. (Exodus 14:14)
Tom Conlon is a rock, earthy artist, braver than most of us. Tom has the courage to be silent. I first heard of Tom when we moved to Clemson, South Carolina. He was a legend there. He was giving away his life, his heart and more music than probably even he knows. After hearing frequent mention of this iconic guitarist, I asked, “So when is he coming back?”
“Nobody knows. He isn’t singing right now.”
A silent singer. Tom needed time away, solitude, rest, a season listening to the hushed harmonies of God. It requires courage to see us offering what others expect. It requires courage to be silent.
Why must we have something to say? Why must we always explain God or offer a hasty response to even the most reflective questions? Why are we so comfortable with noise? Why do we resist solitude?
It seems we are afraid of the quiet. In the quiet, the roar of our doubts might overwhelm us. In the solitude, our grip on the imaginary existence we have created and craftily named reality slips. As the noise stills, we find we are addicted. We are addicted to it’s insidious rhythms, drowning out God whispered invitation to meet Him in our rawest place: our broken heart, where we connect with our pain, our questions and our desperation..
To be silent is to be broken. The eagerness to speak sometimes hints of a life that has yet to enter the deeper sorrows, the agony of a world that isn’t heaven. Guarding ourselves from the dark corners, we rush forward, running out to the reality we created to numb us from ourselves. We find, though, that we are also numb to the lover of our soul. He invites us to be still and know He is God. But we can’t risk that. To be still is to be quiet. To be quiet is to hear our heart. To hear our heart is to know all is not well. And that is far too dangerous. Better to simply enjoy the noise.
Tom started offering the gift of his music again. He reflected: “After a year of ‘laying low’ it’s good to be playing music again, though I’m learning that all of it, especially the silence, is a song.”
God waits in the quiet. His invitation woos us from the place we call safety. But it isn’t. Be brave. Enter the silence. God will meet you there.