It is in the silence

I have long  been intrigued with the encounter of Elijah and God at the mountain. It was not in the tumult of fire, wind or earthquake that God spoke but after all this in as the New Revised Standard Version puts it, “The voice of sheerest silence.”  Here by the sea I have heard in silence between the waves the moments of silence that hint of God. Finding the sheer impression of the sacred is a neglected art. 


The First Book of Kings tells of Elijah’s search for God and what happened when he reached Horeb, the mountain of God,

…(Elijah) came to a cave, and spent the night there. Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’

Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.

When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. (19:9, 11-13)