God is in the Silence


When I lived in the nursing home, night was a very hard time for me.  I was alone.  Unlike the hospital, where nurses and aides came into my room at all hours of the day, in the nursing home I was not visited from 11 PM until 6 AM, unless I called for them.  I slept very little during the 2+ months I stayed at Manor Care.  The pain allowed me only short periods of sleep before it would wake me.  This meant that I was up for half the night trying to find my way back to sleep.  During the day, family and friends were with me. Therapy gave me something to do.  Having people around helped to keep my pain-numbed mind occupied.  At night I did not have such comfort.  My family and friends knew this and would sometimes stay by my bedside until mid-night or later, leaving when I would fall asleep.   I would awake 2-3 hours later, alone with my thoughts and my pain.  Often, I was scared.  I was not scared of dying or never walking.  I was afraid of my own thoughts.  I was very angry.  Much of my perseverance those first few months came from anger and fear.  My biggest fear was that I was no longer “me”.  That I had changed into someone who others wouldn’t recognize or want to be around.  I felt very different and people certainly treated me differently.

It was during the long nights that I would often pray.  These were the prayers of a broken man.  I would ask God to wake me up from my nightmare.  I would try to bargain with God by promising to do things in return for Him making me better. I knew it didn’t work that way, but I was desperate.  Over the many months of my rehab, I would try to become more thankful in my prayers, but as hard as I tried, I couldn’t find peace.  My pain caused my mind to wander and it never went to pleasant thoughts.

Over time I have come to accept the “new me”.  I am different on every level; physically, mentally and spiritually.  Just last week a co-worker was looking at a photo of me before the accident and told me that I don’t look anything like I use to look.  I hear that a lot.  With my new found acceptance came peace.  Peace, but not contentment.  I still persevere, but now it doesn’t come from fear and anger any more, but from understanding.  Through understanding I have gained some control over my pain.   I have come to embrace the silence and even seek it out.  I can now thankfully pray to God for all of my blessings.  Now, when I think about those scary nights in the nursing home, I realize that I wasn’t really alone.  God was there with me, listening and patiently waiting for the “new me” to understand.

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.”

– Mother Teresa

Advertisements
This entry was posted in inspiration, motivation, recovery. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to God is in the Silence

  1. Joe Kloza says:

    John,
    This morning 17 potential Nurse Aides will begin their class with 3-5 minutes of silence….except for ambient…classical or other “soothing” sounds in the background. I am asking them to think of “nothing”, which is a very difficult thing to do. Many, in fact all of us in some way, are coming from stuff happening at a blinding pace. The only way to be inspired is to empty the mind and allow space for spirit to come in. It doesn’t matter how you define that “spirit”. Whether it be God, as one sees Him, Her, It or “The Force” or just the law of the universe, the way it is…like gravity. We empty to be inspired for yet another day to move on.
    I will share your comments with them this morning.
    Joe

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s