Segments of Part 1 Chapter 19 & 20 of [i]In God's Underground[/i] by Richard WurmbrandI was kept in solitary confinement in this cell for the next two years. I had nothing to read and no writing materials; I had only my thoughts for company
Did I believe in God? Now the test had come. I was alone. There was no salary to earn, no golden opinions to consider. God offered me only suffering -would I continue to love Him?My mind went back to one of my favorite books, 'The Pateric', concerning certain fourth-century saints who formed desert monasteries when the Church was persecuted. It has 400 pages, but the first time I picked it up I did not eat, drink or sleep until I had finished it. Christian books are like good wine -the older the better. It contained the following passage:A brother asked his elder, 'Father, what is silence?' The answer was, 'My son, silence is to sit alone in your cell in wisdom and fear of God, shielding the heart from the burning arrows of thought. Silence like this brings to birth the good. O silence without care, ladder to heaven! O silence in which one cares only for first things, and speaks only with Jesus Christ! He who keeps silent is the one who sings, "My heart is ready to praise Thee, O Lord!"'I worked out a routine to which I kept for the next two years. I stayed awake all night. When the 10 p.m. bell signaled time to sleep, I began my program. Sometimes I was sad, sometimes cheerful, but the nights were not long enough for all I had to do.
Yes, it is in silence that His voice can be heard the loudest.Thank you for the reminder.
Slience? It's wonderful, but almost undesirable by so many today.When you think of just one day of our lives, we are surronded by constant sounds and sometimes noise.Radio, t.v, internet, playing music cd's at home and in the car, when do we get the time to think, to ponder, to muse?I wonder how we would manage if we were thrown into the same situation of solitary confinement.Maybe God would graciously sustain us, as we find in the person of Richard Wurmbrand. But to have stillness of mind is still desirable even without being in confinement.Psalm 131v2, 'Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.'One has to wonder what you would find to do in solitary confinement that you would not have night enough to complete it. Yet, God came through.God bless.
Thank you for sharing this, Joshua.