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Be Still And Know

I thought about this text [Ps 46:10] some months ago as I sat in Sacre-Coeur, a church built atop Montmartre, a high hill overlooking the city of Paris. This marvelous church, built around the turn of the century, is contemporary in many ways, with a great basilica dome containing a pantokrator Christ figure spreading his arms to embrace the people of the city.

There I watched a little peasant woman, dressed all in black, having her meditations in the middle of the day. Her head was bowed at prayer. She was totally oblivious to all the people rushing about the cathedral.

By midday in any of the big tourist cathedrals, groups have made their way inside. Busloads of people from all the countries of the world stumble against one another, trying to see in the semi-darkness after they've come in from the bright outdoors. These people strain to hear what their guides are saying, pushing and shoving to get closer to this or that site. The crowds are trying to understand and see everything in as brief a time as possible so they can be off to the next place.

In all that hustle and bustle, this little woman sat stolidly with her head bowed, paying no attention to any of the confusion. As I watched, I thought of the text, “Be still, and know that I am God.” She was being still, almost to a fault, in the midst of the hubbub.

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— John Killinger, “Finding God in a Busy World,” Preaching Today, Tape Number 132.

See: Ps 131:2; Job 37:14; Ps 29:11