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Tag Archives: power of silence

Silence and Accountable Leadership

I am in the midst of two books that reflect the challenge of integration of “Emotionally Healthy Contemplative Leadership” — Finding Sanctuary: Monastic Steps for Everyday Life, by Abbot Christopher Jamison and Winning on Purpose: How to Organize Congregations to Succeed in Their Mission, by John Edmund Kaiser. They draw on very different parts of our spirituality as leaders and can seem opposed to one another. I believe, however, that we must find the kind of leadership found among many of the early church fathers (Origen , Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Augustine, Ambrose -to name a few). Many of them were bishops, leaders, monks and theologians with a profound love for God. Finding Sanctuary is filled with practical insights. Perhaps the most significant for me is his section on silence.  Reflecting on his own life, he notes how “before I could offer sanctuary, I had to find it.” He notes that exterior silence. Read more.

Hearing Silence!

When God appeared to Elijah after his flight from Jezebel and suicidal depression, he told him to stand and wait for the presence of the LORD to pass by. God did not appear in ways he had showed up in the past. God was not in the wind (as with Job), an earthquake (as in Mount Sinai with the giving of the Ten Commandments), or fire (as in the burning bush with Moses). God finally revealed himself to Elijah in “a sound of sheer silence.” (See 1 Kings 19:12). The translation of God coming “in a sheer silence” does not capture the original Hebrew but what could the translators do? How do you hear silence?   God saying” Don’t go back to the safety and predictability of the past, of what I did then, or how I did it.” God speaks to Elijah in a very new, strange, uncomfortable way —  silence.   This is so different than. Read more.