At first, I couldn’t tell if she was crying, laughing or hyperventilating. Two weeks after arriving in the States, Franziska posted a video on her Facebook page. It was this particularly horrendous TV commercial for Der Wienerschnitzel restaurant, advertising their new bratwurst. We were still in this stage where I, and I guess all of her new American friends, were trying to outdo each other in introducing Franzi to the wonderful things that make us proud of our great country. I saw that video link, and thought to myself, “Oh. NO. No, no, no, no, no. NO.”. And then I clicked the link, which was clearly a video that she had recorded with her phone pointed at the TV screen, and in the background I hear her making these strange noises…
It must have been about the 38th hour of that 24 hour day, and by that time, just about everything seemed ridiculously hard. I don’t even know how long I had been standing there, trying to get the plastic lid to fit down over my soft drink. The young woman moved up next to me and said, “Having trouble?” I suddenly realized that there were indeed other people on the planet with me, and two of them were waiting patiently at the soda fountain for me to finish so they could fill their cups and move on.
Silence is rare in our every day life yet at the same time it is more important than ever before. We need to give our senses a break every now and then. Otherwise this storm of lights, sounds and smells that surrounds us daily would crush us. But unfortunately often enough we are unable to find it, not just because our surroundings are so loud but also because we have a hard time finding it in ourselves. Yet sometime the need for silence becomes a true craving. What is this craving? I believe it is God asking us to listen. Not just to Him but also to ourselves. It is God’s way of inviting you to give yourself a break and spend some quality time with him. It is an invitation to become intimate with God, to be with him in a deep, all consuming silence where you can feel him closer than at any other time.
But what about prayer then?