The drive was only 30 minutes or so, but it seemed much longer. Her crying from the backseat wore on. We looked at each other, creases forming between our eyes. "She should go to sleep any minute. She didn't nap well this afternoon," I told him. He nodded and sighed. I could feel the hope dissipating with each mile. We passed a few mailboxes that didn't seem familiar and I told him to turn around. "Let me call Dad. He'll know how far it is." I got directions and we turned around again. We simply hadn't gone far enough. The wailing from the backseat grew louder and I closed my eyes, a sharp pain rising from behind my temple. Somehow, through the shrieking, I heard the whisper: Be still.
I stood outside the car, talking to the farmer while he placed gallons of milk in the front floor board. Even with the doors shut, I could hear her cries, see her Daddy reach over the seat and try to calm her. I climbed in the backseat and the overhead light revealed her face, now red with anger, tears coursing down her cheeks. She saw me and caught the next cry in her throat and looked at me. I leaned over and whispered the words I've been hearing over and over the last few days: Be still.
How can you be still when there is chaos surrounding you, when the winds blow and the seas rage? How can you be still when the news loudly announces anything but quiet? But as that little one sat in her carseat, her cries now quieted as she gazed at me and held my hand, I heard the whisper. The stillness I crave, the quiet peace that my heart is ravished for? It doesn't originate in my environment or my experience. It manifests itself in those places only after it is birthed in my own heart.
Funny how so much of our time is spent searching, wondering, looking for love peace in all the wrong places. I had searched for it in a book, in a song, in a method. But when I found it, it was growing, secretly, serenely in a quiet corner of my own heart. I had been tending it all along with my yearning for it and now, here it is: a tender young plant, life coursing through the veins of every leaf, reaching for the light. And as I reach toward it, my fingers caressing the delicate vine, I hear the whisper: Be still.