Shutting the door

“Anyone can retire into a quiet place, wrote Evelyn Underhill, but it’s the shutting of the door that makes the difference. Solitude is a time for stripping away everything in order to focus on God. (Matt 6:6)” (Sue Monk Kidd). Lent is not far away, beginning in just under three weeks with Ash Wednesday on Mar. 2, and one of the things I’ll be stripping away more completely and intentionally than I already am is watching televised news. Scrolling through the headlines online and occasionally dipping into a story keeps me as informed as I need to be about what’s going on in the world. What’s missing in the world’s normal routine is staying attuned to the inner realm of Spirit, which is so often and so deeply masked by the din of what the news media determine is important. I need, and I believe we all need, to shut the door, at least for a season, on the cacophony that deafens us to the “still, small voice” (translated in the NRSV as the “sound of sheer silence” —1 Kings 19:12) or the “music of the spheres” that surrounds and permeates all of creation.

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