Lessons in Quietude

I look at my cat’s green eyes, specked with amber.

She purrs, and I press my ear to her, feeling the warm vibration. She’s chosen a place in the sun–her eyes tucked just below the light.

Looking at cats, I’ve often observed their quietude. They sit, they sleep, they stare in wonder out the window–and they are contented in these acts, mundane as they are.

DuringĀ college, the rush from bed to bathroom to car to class made me think wistful thoughts about quietude. Cold feet on my kitchen floor, I’d relish the warmth of my coffee mug, sniff the wake-me-up, and stare out the window at the gold of morning. I’d daydream that I could stand there for an hour, frozen in time. Have some much-needed quiet time, time in the Word.

It’s different now.

My part-time job only partly fills my week. And for the rest of the time? Quietness (different from quietude)–all I could have asked for and more. Yet, instead of gentle mornings gently woken, I often feel alone. My spirit feels far from quietude in these moments, instead residing in restlessness, yearning to go and do.

In these moments, walks are a refuge. Stagnant inside air gives way to wind and movement. Somehow, walking along the sidewalk beside old brick houses and small business shops, it feels easier to converse with God. It feels easier to hear His familiar whisper to my heart.

So often I yearn to be, before I am.

I yearn to be more in the Word, talk more to God, hear more from God–without taking the steps required of such ends. And those ends, inevitably, require quietude. The willingness to embrace the calm, the quite, as a necessary step to a necessary end. It’s [often] in the quiet places that God orients hearts toward Himself, adjusting and correcting sight line.

So calm my mind, O Lord, that I may sit at Your feet as the Mary of old did.

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