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Space for Silence


By Deacon Tammy Devine

ELCA Wellness Manager
November 2017

Be still, and know that I am God! Psalm 46:10a

Our world doesn’t reward us for being still. Busyness is heralded as a sign of importance and productivity. Noise fills our cars, our homes, our heads. Seldom are we comfortable in silence. Seldom do we allow the quiet to seep in, bless us, and free us from our inner or outer chaos. But it is in the stillness that God promises to make God’s presence known. It is in the quiet that we can hear the longings of our own hearts.

During a recent retreat, our group was invited to practice silence each morning. On the third day, I was surprised to be visited by a memory of a special friend from childhood who was killed in a car accident 20 years ago. In the silence, I felt the pain and began to cry. Years of buried grief bubbled to the surface when I allowed myself to be.

As we journey through life we become skilled at navigating change, loss, dreams, and relationships. But how often do we pause to live with the emotions that arise along the way? Succumbing to the busyness and noise becomes a convenient way to carry on. Yet it might also mean we are missing the chance for God to speak, to comfort, to heal.

Each week as we gather for worship, we come carrying the struggles and chaos from our lives. Rather than experiencing quiet moments in worship as simply transitions from one thing to the next, I invite you to use them to make space to be. Settle in to the silence as you breathe in God’s goodness and slowly exhale all that is getting in the way of listening to God’s voice. Or, create those moments wherever you are by using this contemplative breath prayer from Psalm 46. Inhale on be still and exhale on that I am God….

Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know that I am.

Be still and know.

Be still.


Tammy Devine's monthly reflection invites you to consider how your faith and health are intertwined. She shares her personal journey to help support you in new ways as you strive to live well in Christ — for the sake of ministry in God's world. ELCA organizations, feel free to print or link to Tammy’s reflections in your publications.

Since joining Portico in 2004, Tammy has provided whole-person health promotion, education, and inspiration to ELCA rostered leaders and lay employees. Contact Tammy Devine at

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