For Whom the Bell Tolls

“In the midst of life, we are in death. . . . Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts; shut not thy merciful ears to our prayer; but spare us, Lord most holy. . . . Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body, that it may be like unto his glorious body.” – Book of Common Prayer, Burial Service

Last Friday, Elliot Rodger aged 22 killed six people and injured 13 other people before taking his own life. Though this was not the first such , I still find myself surprised. How does one process these events? It is disquieting at best.  Unsolvable puzzles are like that. We can probe and poke the situation and never get to the bottom of things.

For me, sitting in the silence is healing. In this noisy, rambunctious world there is no hope in witch hunts. There are no answers in the multitude of voices debating gun control. The silence does not always yield the answers I want, but the silence creates space and healing.


“I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you

Which shall be the darkness of God…


I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope

For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love

For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith

But the faith and the love and hope are all in the waiting.

Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”  

– The Four Quartets, T.S. Eliot                                                          


About Susan P

Reader, writer, mother, grandmother, wife, traveler...
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8 Responses to For Whom the Bell Tolls

  1. Kevin Spencer says:

    It was like a church to me.
    I entered it on soft foot,
    Breath held like a cap in the hand.
    It was quiet.
    What God was there made himself felt,
    Not listened to, in clean colours
    That brought a moistening of the eye,
    In movement of the wind over grass.

    There were no prayers said. But stillness
    Of the heart’s passions — that was praise
    Enough; and the mind’s cession
    Of its kingdom. I walked on,
    Simple and poor, while the air crumbled
    And broke on me generously as bread.

    R. S. Thomas, The Moor


    Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

    13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

    1 Kings 19:11-18

  2. So beautiful and thoughtful, both the post and the reply, Susan and Kevin. We need respite, and He provides it, not in word, but in being. Thank you.

  3. Bethie says:

    you are a heavenly messenger… that may yet be another of your special gifts. XO

  4. Right on, Susan. It’s a wonder, it really is. And sitting in silence really does help.

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