Come, sit with me a while in the silence

Photo by Dev Benjamin on Unsplash

11th Jan 2023

It’s Sunday so you know what that means? Quaker meeting. Come through the door into the silence and sit with me. There is nothing to see but what is stirring in your soul. Relax, get comfortable.

Can you hear the bird singing its song in the garden outside? Can you hear the child saying “Mama, Mama” a while later another child, “Dada, Dada” and then the silence fills the gaps.

A friend is on their feet. She speaks of death and its seeming inappropriateness. She speaks of Baby Alfie.

Silence returns. 10 minutes late another friend stands to his feet and speaks of the need for the Meeting House to be a sanctuary for the soul. A place where people can be refreshed and restored.

What’s happening for you?

Inside my thoughts are moving to the sounds of the children and the bird. Voices that we don’t hear unless we become silent.

Children call for their parents, parents call for their children, God calls for us all.

The story of the boy Samuel comes to mind. While asleep he heard his name called. He thought it was Eli so he went to him and asked what he needed. Eli said he hadn’t called. He heard his name a second time. He went to Eli again. Eli said to him if it happened again to answer, “Speak Lord for thy servant heareth.”

The voice came a third time and Samuel did as Eli had said. The voice talked with him about his future and what would happen in short while.

The sign comes, pounding heart. I wait, will it subside? I am on my feet, the words are out,

It is only in the silence that we hear what we don’t often hear, the bird singing its song, the child saying Mama, Dada, the voice of God.

The silence returns, 15 minutes later we shake hands. The meeting is over, let’s have a coffee.


Gordi Jackson (St Albans Quaker Meeting) – reproduced with permission from the original post on Medium on 29 April 2018. You can find more from Gordi on his Medium channel.