Listenings: God Is Not Silent

We may create spiritualities which are “silent” before the reality of evil and suffering, but God is not silent.

God speaks.  And as Underhill points out, God speaks in the form of a question, “Who will go for us” (p. 94).  God’s question arises from within God’s own nature—a kind of Trinitarian conversation.  But it is a conversation we can overhear.

One test of true spirituality is our ability to enter into the conversation—to reply as Isaiah did, “Here am I!  Send me!”  Underhill believed that the God-Isaiah encounter was one of the clearest descriptions of the spiritual life.  She wrote,

There the very essence of the spiritual life is gathered and presented in a point: first the vision of the Perfect, and the sense of imperfection and unworthiness over against the Perfect, and then because of the vision, and in spite of the imperfection, action in the interests of the Perfect, co-operation with God (p. 95).

There is only one central cause of pseudo-spirituality—turning a deaf ear to the Voice.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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