The sounds of silence & the engine of the Spirit

By Ferrell Foster

Part of what I like about quiet is what it enables you to hear. A person is walking on a nearby path — the crunch crunch of her footsteps. I look; I pray — for her.

I’m in the park to worship with friends.

Footsteps again. They stop behind and to my left. I look. A different woman walker has a small dog on a leash. The little fellow has taken a step toward our group and stopped to study us sitting quiet and still. I wonder if this dog senses something we humans cannot sense, just as dogs can hear things we cannot hear.

We are a small group of worshipers. The world calls us Quakers, but the official designation in Friends. I have never quaked, but I enjoy being a Friend.

Next, a jogger comes along the path. I do not look. The pace of the crunch crunch slows. I wonder if the person is tired or respectful, maybe both. A person is all I know.

Three persons on a path and four persons sitting in a wide circle. All sharing life together in different ways. Sharing and life seem to go together.

A car door shuts. Someone is coming or going at the park. Lives intersect and disburse.

A truck comes close — a park worker. Engines, the sound of work. We Friends meet quietly in a world of engines.

Quiet needs no engine, except the engine of the Spirit.


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