Several years ago, I was watching a video of a discussion held by several prominent, liberal theologians, writers, pastors, artists, and thinkers–my tribe, I guess. Men and women who were gathered to consider profound issues of peace, justice, and democracy, in light of the shared belief that we are more than we seem. We are called, they agreed, to be co-creators with Love of a world that not only recognizes our equality in the eyes of the Sacred, but will not survive without it.
They sat in a semicircle in front of an audience, thoughtfully considering, offering their views, respectfully disagreeing, extending ideas, speaking the truth in love, pondering communally.
At one point, they took turns summing-up, sharing a “final thought” on an issue, and the dialogue was passed to Frederick Buechner, who took a long, quiet breath, stretched his legs out in front of the chair, crossing them at the ankles. He bent his head and held his hands in his lap before saying, “I think it would be a fitting time to go into silence,” at which point every one of those remarkable people joined him, flowing into silence. The energy had been peaceful, but now it was utterly stilled; the entire space seemed enveloped in light. It moved visibly through the audience and through me.
“I think it would be a fitting time to go into silence.”
It’s how I feel today. And where I’m going.