In stillness you can discover gifts not only for yourself but for others. Let me explain.
Every morning, no matter the season, I wake up early and step outside to my front porch. There, I sit and listen. Listening to the sounds of mother earth awakening; birds, trees swaying in the wind, animals scurrying about, early morning walkers, and most importantly, God. Yes, God will speak to you if you allow the jarring of our media rich, always on, constant noise to just be…quiet and do nothing.
Doing nothing is the most productive activity you will ever undertake ~ Martha Beck
This particular morning, the stillness brought on a heaviness for a dear friend who recently lost his father. This young man will be 26 years old in November. To lose his father, his best friend, at such a young age is a heartbreak that most of us cannot imagine.
While sitting still, God directed me to go back inside to grab my phone. I complied. Opening my phone, the first thing that popped up was a post from an artist by the name of Cotton Ketchie. I began to read. The story was of Cotton as a young man, 26 years old to be exact, when he tragically lost his father on July 6, 1970. He wrote of his pain but also of what his father taught him while here on earth. Cotton took those lessons of “not climbing up fool’s hill”, of how animals love having their backs scratched too, but more importantly…to live out a legacy of love and forgiveness.
So lost in his story, I then realized I was midway through writing a text of encouragement to my friend without even knowing it. At that moment, I knew God wanted me to read Cotton’s story in order to help my friend.
After receiving my message, this is when the true magic happened. You see, my friend responded with such heartfelt gratitude for the message I had sent him. Then told me that he and his bride actually have a Cotton Ketchie original hanging in their home. The beautiful print, given to them as a gift, is of the vineyard where they were married. This vineyard has been in his wife’s family for generations and is now used as a venue for events, such as weddings. The home that proudly sits on the vineyards is known as Vesuvius is the oldest standing home in Lincoln County, our hometown. Built in 1792 by General Joseph Graham, Vesuvius has seen over 200 years of American history and now has extra special meaning.
I tell this story as encouragement to find time for “stillness” in your day. The few minutes of stillness that I had this morning led to a forever connection of a young man’s healing, a talented artist/writer and a print.
Mother Teresa expressed it this way,
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.”
Landmark Galleries, Cotton Ketchie
Have you found stillness in your day?