When I preached at my church, I had to learn how to leave space between my words. It took me over a decade before my brave husband finally said to me,
"You throw punch after punch at me, thought after thought ... I need you to give some space between your thoughts so I can hear you, process what you just said."
That is one brave man, friends.
His words changed the way I thought about my sermons, about the way I taught.
I started to use less words. I left more space between thoughts. I cannot say for certain, but I believe this made my sermons more powerful.
I read this the other day:
"The great poet does not completely fill out the space of his theme with his words.
He leaves a space clear,
into which another and higher poet can speak."(Max Picard, The World of Silence)
Isn't that stunning?
This is what my husband was trying to get across to me. He wanted me to leave a space clear in my sermons so that he could hear the voice of a higher poet.
What might this concept look like in our everyday lives?
Do we leave spaces clear in our day so that we, too, can hear from a higher poet?
Or do we fill every space with words, noise, busy activity ...
all the while wondering why we can't hear the Spirit whisper,
can't get even the smallest sense of a Divine presence?
What a practice to take into the new year -
Every day try to leave a space clear,
to not fill all of our spaces with noise,
to listen for the gentle Voice above all voices.
The Voice that always whispers:
I am here.
I created you.
I delight in you.
I love you.
Oh, let's leave a space clear for the higher poet in 2023, shall we?