Today my daughter and I hiked to Table Rock. It is 4881 feet above sea level. At that height and from that view, we saw Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, Three-Fingered Jack, Mt. Jefferson, and the Three Sisters. We also saw clouds. Not above us but beneath us. Clouds covered the lowlands north, south, and west. Thick white clouds filled the valleys. As I sat on the top of Table Rock, I heard silence. Thick silence. Weighted silence. Silence that offers rest while pressing in at the same time. I continued to notice this silence as we hiked down through the forest and over the boulder field. Certain places housed a heavier silence than others.
I thought about God, the Creator of the forest, the boulders, the ferns, the springs, the silence. It seemed that the silence was a living being. It seemed the silence was God. It was deep. It was Present. It was all encompassing. And as the silence, God was saying something to me. It was a great silence full of silent speaking. For a moment, I felt afraid of the silence. It felt powerful. It felt as though all the energy of the universe was in that silence. I heard it and it frightened me.
I wondered at myself when I felt afraid. I treasure quiet moments, restful moments. Time alone. By myself. No radio. No television. But this silence mystified me. It challenged me. It invited me into something larger, deeper, and more profound than any silence I have experienced. It was real silence. A fully clothed silence and a strip-away-everything silence. It called to me. I heard its call, and I wonder what it wants.