Sunday, July 18, 2010
A Little Peace and Quiet
The storm clouds settled low over route 34 in the Shawnee National Forest. I was headed to a 2 day retreat of solitude and silence, nothing but me and God. But somewhere between the hustle and bustle of everyday life and the promise of some spiritual disciplines, I ran into some rather puzzling places.
Rudement, for one. Rudement, IL. Someone will have to explain to me the historical significance of that town name. It's not much to be sure. I would say barely large enough to merit a town sign. Yet, as I was driving through, another sign caught my attention: Rudement Church. Hmmm. Sweeping past the place at 47 miles per hour, I wondered how many other churches in sleepy southern Illinois might be marked by the community as being rude. It was something to consider in the days ahead.
Another town caught my attention. Herod, IL. Again, the town map was the size of a postage stamp. But I wondered how anyone could name a town after that "fox" of the gospel stories. There is no less irony for me that Herod is located in Pope County. It seems that ancient enemies (dictatorial government and sacrificial church) cannot rest in peace, even in southern Illinois.
All told, I enjoyed my time along the Ohio River. I could not have asked for a better place to practice solitude and silence. The only sounds I experienced were waves lapping the banks, hawks chatting along the bluffs, and deer snorting when I walked too closely to their part of the trail.
But I think, I think, even amidst the strange small towns and vocal animal population, that I heard the voice of God. And his voice was love. Gloria Deo!