Thursday, September 10, 2009

Silence In Heaven For Half An Hour

Everyone needs a break. I'm thinking of this verse from Revelation 8:1 today, "And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour." Kind of reminds me of my hiatus -- when I took off a few months earlier this year. That was a great break.

I was reading Revelation earlier. You've got all the commotion of heaven, enough horses to make a respectable parade, angels, Gwen Stefani and the Lamb, and the old seer looking on. It's impressive, the orderliness, the holiness, then the systematic destruction of everything, all for a good purpose, to make all things new. (Small consolation to all the ones destroyed.)

Then, not too far into it, after the seven seals and just before the trumpets you get "silence in heaven about the space of half an hour." Like in the Herman's Hermits song, "There's a Kind of Hush." Time to be quiet. Quiet time. Nap time like in kindergarten. A breather. Sit a spell, take your shoes off.

It's an interesting thought. You might wonder why would heaven have silence for about half an hour? Why it's about a half an hour, I don't know. It could have something to do with the urgency of what's presented, with half an hour being a tiny bit of space, i.e., there's no delay. We're giving you a little respite, but not enough to get your hopes up, unless you're a martyr, then your hopes are for 15 minutes tops.

Why there's silence? Maybe because they're busy passing out seven trumpets and they're getting ready to blow them. What's more impressive than a trumpet suddenly blasting out of silence? If you had a lot of noise going on -- and a trumpet just piled on -- it wouldn't be distinct or have the same power. This gets your attention.

I'd like to have just silence and not a sudden trumpet. I prefer noises that come on rather than ones that are just there. On my phone, I have it set with the gentlest alarm it came with. And similarly, the noise that reminds me of an appointment. It eases into it, it doesn't just scare my pants off. Same thing with my dog, Underbrush. If something's going on, I prefer she starts out with some growling before the full bark, not just the full bark all at once. That is scary, more startling than scary.

It's tough to get silence -- I mean silence that's not quite as frightening as heaven's in Revelation. That's the kind of silence we don't want. The kind of stillness like right before a tornado, or if you were in the eye of a hurricane. But other silence is desirable sometimes, if only... We were out today doing the dog thing and some guy who has a noisy truck went by again. I think he and I have synchronized mornings. I said silence is desirable sometimes. That's true. But I'm also a white noise fan. I'd rather hear something going on.

That's all from Revelation today!

As John Lennon could've sung, "You say you want a revelation, well, you know, we all want to end the world."

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