Silence in the City?

Grace makes little noise.

When was the last time that you were silent? When was the last time you heard that thin, sheer sound of silence? If you live in a city, it might have been a while. If you live in the country, it might have been a while. We fill our lives with noise, with music, with radios and smartphones and commentaries. When was the last time we stopped? When was the last time we were silent and experienced silence?

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The God of the Journey

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“So I say, walk by the Spirit…”

My wife told me the other day that it rains approximately 200 days every year in Brussels. It rains more often than not, in other words. Upon learning this, I berated myself once again for not getting a raincoat yet. After three years in Belgium, I still don’t have one. After 600 days of rain, I still don’t have one. But I guess I don’t walk many places.

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The God of Open-Doors

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“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” — Matthew 7:7-8

A few years ago, I had the strange question about how life would be if there were no doors. None. How would human life change for us in the West? Would there be a stronger sense of community? What would privacy look like? How about security and safety, from those without good intentions and from the weather? Needless to say, my imagination was sparked and engaged. I imagined all kinds of answers and situations, some of which would be highly embarrassing for many different reasons. So, whether fortunately or unfortunately, we live in a society with doors. These do provide protection and privacy, yet they often become thresholds, barriers that say, you can come this far, no farther. The closed door or threshold seems to say that only the few get to pass through this, or more personally, I don’t want to have anything to do with anyone ever. Closed doors can speak all these things for us.

Yet we are called to live openly, to ask, to seek, to knock. These are risks, for there is always the chance of being rejected. But without seeking, without asking, without knocking, we never can find, we never can receive, and we never can walk through the now opened door. God is the God of open-doors. There is no place where you have to stop in seeking God; we’ve been invited to participate in the Divine life itself! God is a God who breaks down barriers, so that all may be one in Christ. God gives us opportunities, which include sometimes literal open-doors. God wants us to live life to the full (John 10:10). And if that is not encouraging, I don’t know what is: the God of the Universe wants us to have life, and life to the full. This includes taking risks: seeking, asking, knocking. So, we have to ask ourselves, are we willing to risk it? And are we living with open-doors?

— Jeremy

(Photo Credit: Dimitri Van Roy)