Thursday, September 30, 2010

Second Lesson: The Nazareth Village

It's a simple lesson.

...about a simple life.

As the tiny group of us gathered in the area recreated as a first century home, our eyes were drawn to the little room. Everything about it, simplistic. Nothing there that couldn't be or wouldn't be used in everyday life.

But no television. No remote controls lying all over the place. No Wii. No overhead lighting or surround sound speakers. Not a single sofa setting with matching pillows. No fine art hanging on the walls...or family portraits...or proud displays of newborns in arms.

Just living.

So why were we drawn to it? I think I know. Because in spite of our comforts and guilty pleasures and in spite of our need to make our immediate world pretty...deep down we desire a different life. A simple life.

Have you ever heard someone say, "I can't hear God anymore. Wonder how they heard Him so much back in the Bible days."

Is it that God no longer speaks? No. But you see, it's easier to hear the whispers of God in the quiet than in the madness we call "everyday." Maybe that's why we work so hard to buy the "lake house" and the "mountain home" and the "beach condo." We need a place to get away. To find the quiet. We even tell our loved ones that what we like most about these 2nd homes is that they don't have cable for television, no satellite service, scarce cell phone coverage ... "I can barely get radio..."

Author and contemplative Robert Benson, who I admire with a vengeance, said to me many years ago, "Eva Marie, the only one who knows what God has whispered into your heart is you. But you won't hear him if you don't hush."

Those two sentences rocked me to the very fiber of my being. I have, since, learned to appreciate silence.

So, I dare you. Turn off the TV. Walk away from the cell phone. Find the simplest place in your part of the planet and sit quietly for a minute. Or a half hour. Try an hour (you probably won't make it...).

Okay. Now hush.

Do you hear Him?


  1. For me it's that summer home in Ohio. So peaceful and beautiful. I think the Amish are on to something. They don't have TV, internet, radios, etc. I bet they hear God a lot.

    Great post, Eva. :)

  2. What a beautiful reminder...and a good challenge. Thank you.