Hope in the silence

I`ve just returned from the annual District Superintendents retreat at Holthorpe Hall, near Market Harborough; a time when the District Superintendents can get together, relax in each others company, dream dreams, share and often resolve issues, study together and support each other. This year was no different but with the added addition of a sense of togetherness and with that came the feeling of old wounds being healed. It was a God-given couple of days.

Holthorpe Hall is a special Christian hotel and the presence of God is all around you. This year I discovered various plaques in the grounds as I meditated.IMG_1066

One of the things that strikes me is how often God is silent. C.S.Lewis spoke of the long silence of God, in his book “A Grief Observed” and its so true. It sometimes seems that at our times of crisis, uncertainty, doubt even, it is then that we could do with hearing the voice of God but so often we don`t.

Just as the board reminds us we would still choose to believe in the sun, even at night, so should we continue to believe in God even in his silence (apparent). Why ? Because of past experience. We look back at those times when we`ve felt particularly close to God and draw strength from them, trusting that if the truth of God was there in our past then that truth will not change. The God of the past is also the God of the present and the God of the tomorrow.

We`ve been led superbly well by Rev Michael Mitton, an Anglican colleague with whom I share the MSM work but on one occasion as he spoke this quote came back to my mind, “Hope is hearing the music of the future; faith is dancing to it today” (Bishop Bill Frey).

Even in the silence of God let us dance to the music he has given in the past, for that is our hope and our faith.

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