The Day of Silence

I published this originally on May 20, 2019. I never imagined that less than a year later the world would be coming to a stop, which is why I'm republishing it:

The dream stayed with me all day. It came in the moments before I woke up, right after a dream about forgetting pages with words to songs for our worship team (one of those dreams you get over and over when you have low-level anxiety about something.) The one I am writing about here was different, though, and the feeling of it lingered, In it, the world was utterly silent.

Last weekend we woke up on Sunday morning to a planned hydro shut down for routine maintenance that I'd forgotten about. We had no hot water, no light, NO COFFEE! What I noticed immediately was the silence. We live with many sounds that we don't hear until they're not there. The silence in my dream though, was a complete worldwide silence--I knew that it signified the end of everything as it was the day before on earth.

Everything had stopped. There was no power, no internet, no commerce, no traffic. We had one day left, and could only contemplate everything that now was at an end. Unlike the weekend before, the power was not coming back on at 10.00 a.m. and life going back to normal.  

There was nothing more to my dream. That day I was busy, but when I had a minute, I checked my Bible concordance under "silence." All I could find was a mention in Revelation 8:1 about silence in heaven for half an hour, just before the seventh seal on the scroll was broken, and the judgement of God begins. I found plenty of opinions online about what this silence signifies, but I think that God sometimes leaves things without clarity intentionally. Knowing God's heart of mercy and love, I can only imagine that there would be a hush before judgement and that heaven's heart would be breaking, but why half an hour? And why in my dream, a day? I'm okay with not knowing, but I do know that God's great story with humanity is unfolding. The signs are there if we read our bibles and watch the news.

The fact is that there will be a "last day" for all of us. Maybe it won't be as dramatic or sobering as my dream. Every day people wake up in the morning and go about getting breakfast and making plans, not realizing that for them, there is no tomorrow. We hear stories daily on the news of last days for people of all ages and stages of life.

How would life change if we felt this possibility more keenly? Would we be a little more careful with our words and attitudes, be kinder, or our focus be different? Would this thought shift our priorities in any way? 

Maybe we'd do more of those essential things we've been putting off. I have noticed that the weight of some tasks or goals increase in proportion to the length of time they're left undone. This isn't perhaps the best example of an essential job, but take folding a basket of laundry, for instance, as it sits taking up space on the floor of the laundry room. If I grab the load, warm and fluffy from the dryer and fold all the socks, t-shirts, underwear, tea towels and sheets right away, it feels a light chore that I hardly notice. But if for some reason I've left the items in the dryer, or worse, unloaded them into a basket to be followed by yet another load, it feels more burdensome. And if they stay in a pile for more than a day, it bothers me every time I step around it on my way to get something from the freezer. 

So I am going to take this to heart. I have a pile of boxes in my hallway upstairs. If this were my last day, I would not want to leave that for someone else to deal with. Besides, getting that job done will lighten my mental load and beautify our home. I'm starting and not stopping until it's done.

More importantly, I'll stay available to spend time with people, to make that phone call, or write a letter. Or to polish and use the gifts God has given. And I'll know what to let go of if God's agenda is different from my own. It might even be a load of laundry.


Jane said…
Belinda as always you cause me to think. I watched the final episode of ALF this afternoon. It ended with ALF being surrounded by the military and the Tanners could not do anything. Silence. It made me think of the end times. We cannot be silent about telling people about Jesus because as you say, each of us will have a last day.

God bless.

Belinda said…
Thank you for reading and commenting, Jane. I struggled in writing this because the dream really was so sobering and I think it had an important message. Many of the things we invest ourselves in are really worthless when considered from the lens of the dream, but I didn't know how to say that gently. I probably "lightened up" the message too much, but I hope that it continues to guide my life and touch someone else in spite of the filter of "me" that it passed through.

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