At the age of five my father was diagnosed with tuberculosis and was confined in a sanatorium for thirteen months; and as a result my mother, two sisters and I moved in with my maternal grandparents. I remember the sense of loss at my father being away … we visited with him rarely in the beginning of his hospitalization and only limited as his treatment progressed. To this day I remember very little of those visits.
What I do remember about those months of daddy’s absence is the care of my grandparents, especially my grandmother, for our family and most particularly me. I was quite restless and anxious (frightened) during that time and it showed in my behavior; so I have been told.
My grandmother was quite keen in assessing and addressing behavior issues, and on multiple occasions she would take me aside, sit me down on the sofa in the sitting room, take my hand gently in her hand, and while patting softly the back of my hand she would say “Be still son. Be still.”
Be still was what the women in my family told the children when they wanted us to be quiet or to calm down. I heard “Be still” quite a lot in the months we lived with my grandparents.
My grandmother was a remarkable woman and after my father returned home and life resumed something akin to normal Mama continued to monitor my actions and attitudes, and she continued to take me aside from time to time to remind me of the words she had shared earlier in my life.
She would go through the same motions … sit me down on the sofa, take my hand in hers, pat my hand gently and speak those words of comfort. Only as I grew older she added to her original admonition: “Be still and know that I am God.”
Her early words were meant to show the necessity of being careful as to how you act, to think through what you say and do … she was teaching me a way to live that took care of myself and respected others. (I didn’t know that what she was doing at the time, but she shared this with me before her death.) Her motivation took a more theological turn as I grew older as she invited me to locate my actions and words in the depth and stillness of God’s heart. “Be still and know I am God” was for my grandmother the key to living a full and faithful life respecting self and others …
Mama’s admonition and the Psalmist’s invitation to “be still” and seek God’s presence in all things is the motivation for this blog in the hope of having conversation with others as they/we seek the depth of God’s heart together. It is in the depth of God’s heart where we become transformed into the likeness of Christ, where the image of God is restored within us and where we learn to be followers of the Christ and servants of each other.
I want to welcome you to the conversation as we together move “Into the Stillness” seeking to know God more deeply, more intimately …