When Alone and in Silence – 當獨處和寂靜時

A Gentle Whisper

For many of us over the last year, there have been more times of aloneness and silence than we desire or are comfortable with. Being married to Mary, I know how diligent she and the other staff have been in remaining connected to the residents during this season of the Covid-19 virus. I have also heard some heartwarming stories of ways in which you have cared for each other during the pandemic. In times of aloneness and silence, having people reach out can be a puff of warm air on a chilly day! 

Yet silence and aloneness are also opportunities. In the story of Elijah in the Old Testament, Elijah discovered that Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab, was seeking to kill him. To escape, Elijah ran into the wilderness and collapsed in exhaustion, alone amidst the silence. There, God sent an angel with food and water to strengthen him, told him to rest, and then sent him to Horeb. In a cave, Elijah voiced his complaints to God about all the troubles he had been through. God instructed him to stand on the mountain and wait for Him. 

“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave” (1 Kings 18:11-13). God was in that gentle voice. 

Part of what God was teaching Elijah was that God speaks, not only in dramatic interventions but also into silence. Silence does not mean divine inactivity. God provided for Elijah in his period of aloneness and silence. God spoke to him through the Spirit’s still small voice. God cared, God provided, God listened, and God spoke. God was completely present with Elijah. In the same way today, God is completely present to each of us. 

In a world of endless chatter, many of us resist silence and aloneness. However, silence can be an opportunity to listen to the “still small voice of God’s Spirit”; to consider how the Spirit of God is acting in our life and the lives of those around us to restore and renew. Silence gives space to reflect God’s words – “though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken.” Keep your ears open for that “still small voice.” 

~ Rev. Dr. Tim Dickau

Prayer Corner – God, I am listening for the gentle whisper of your voice today. 

Scripture Readings
1 Kings 18 
Psalm 46:10 
Psalm 139:1-18 


過去的一年中,我們很多人都經歷了超出我們能想像或感到安舒的獨處、寂靜的時間。與瑪莉結婚時,我已知道她是很勤奮的,在疫情期間,她與其他職員仍努力地希望能與所有住客維持聯繫。同時我亦聽到很多有關你們在期間用各種方法互相關懷的窩心故事。在這段獨處和寂靜的日子,人與人互相守望的行動,為這寒冷的天氣帶來一股溫暖的氣氛。 

其實寂靜與獨處亦可造就很多契機。 在舊約聖經以利亞的故事中,以利亞發現亞哈王的妻子,耶洗別,想殺死他。以利亞逃命,走到曠野,筋疲力盡倒下了。就在他寂靜中獨自一人時, 上帝派遣祂的天使,把食物和水送給他,讓他重得體力,休息,然後差遣他到何烈山。在山洞中,以利亞向上帝申訴他經歷的所有煩憂。上帝吩咐他站在山上等候祂。 

列王紀上19章11至13節,「耶和華說:『你出來站在山上,在我面前。』那時耶和華從那裏經過,在他面前有烈風大作,崩山碎石,耶和華卻不在風中,風後地震,耶和華卻不在其中;地震後有火,耶和華也不在火中;火後有微小的聲音。以利亞聽見,就用外衣蒙上臉,出來站在洞口。有聲音向他說:『以利亞阿,你在這裏作什麼?』」上帝就在這輕柔的聲音裡。 

上帝想教導以利亞的是上帝說話,不單只是很戲劇性地介入,也可在寂靜當中。寂靜不代表沒有上帝的作為在其中。上帝讓以利亞有這段獨自寂靜的時間。上帝透過祂的靈,那微小的聲音對他說話。上帝看顧、上帝賜與、上帝聆聽、而且上帝說話。上帝全然與以利亞同在。今日,上帝同樣全然與我們每一個同在。 

在這世界永無休止的紛擾中,我們很多人都抗拒寂靜和獨處。其實寂靜正是一個讓我們能聽到上帝的靈,那「微小聲音」的機會,去思想上帝的靈怎樣在我們的生命中,或環繞我們的生活細節上,讓我們復原和更新。寂靜讓我們有空間去反思上帝的話語:「大山可以挪開,小山可以遷移,但我的慈愛必不離開你。」讓我們張開我們的耳朵,去聆聽「這微小的聲音」。 

~ Rev. Dr. Tim Dickau

禱告  – 上帝,我今天正聆聽著祢輕柔微小的聲音。 

經文閱讀 
列王紀上19 章 
詩篇46:10 
詩篇139:1-18 

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