It’s been a week since I’ve been to this place that has slowly become a space where I have figured out who I am and what I am supposed to do with these breaths I’ve been given.

Sure, I’ve taken longer leaves of absences from this, but this time it was for a purpose not because of scheduling or overcommitting. I needed some distance as I delved into a weeklong look at Ephesians and processed through a death in our family. There’s an incubation process for deep study and for grief.

I’ve rarely found myself speechless. I have too many words and often have to remind myself to listen before I jump into a conversation with an idea that has sprung into my mind. This week, I felt myself moving from commitment to commitment in a slow molasses movement. My mind was telling me that I needed to remember everything, be everywhere at once, and my body was telling me to power down.

And I just wonder, as a pastor, what do you do in those weeks and days and minutes when life so silences you and brings you to a point of complete and utter standstill and wonder? Do you just stand before your congregation and ask question after question that has flooded your mind over the past week? Do you honestly recount the emotions and feelings you’ve been through or do you when it comes to Saturday night silence those questions?

Silence is  a powerful teacher.

It shows us that this life we lead where we think we can predict what comes next can be brought to its foundation and shaken in a way that reverberates in us as small players in its grand scheme.

And maybe that’s exactly what I needed to learn this week.