Sharon Dunn: God Meets us in Silence

 In Return to Center

God meets us in silence. In space. We have to have the discipline to create that space, and the silence to be able to listen for the voice of God in our lives. I’m Sharon Dunn, the spiritual director for Eremos, past board member and longtime participant in Eremos’s offerings and programs.

Thomas Keating says that God’s first language is silence. As soon as we put the deep knowledge of God into words, we’ve interrupted it. The mystery that we are accessing is available for us just as it is, not as we think it is or as we want it to be. To close the door to the inner room is an invitation to discontinue our interior dialogue.

We need constant reminders to create space in our lives and to enter the silence.

We always want to be busy. We want to be doing. We want to have conversations, complete tasks, enter into relationships, fill our days with activity.

We want to be defined by what we do.

But time with God is found when we can just be.

And we need to create the space in our lives to fill with silence so that we can listen for the voice of God.

I want to end with a Mary Oliver poem called Praying.


It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

— Mary Oliver, Thirst

Sharon Dunn is a spiritual director in Austin. She is has been part of the Eremos community for more than 20 years, drawing lessons about knowing God from many offerings of the Eremos programs. She encourages deep listening to our interior longing for God.

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