• David Carlson

761: God may be silent in order to help us listen to our own hearts

Day 761: Easter Saturday 2022

God may be silent in order to help us listen

to our own hearts



This is a day for taking a breath, but it is not simply an emotional transition between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. There is a question or two we should be thinking about today.


Due to COVID-19 and the climate of war around the planet it may be hard to just take a breath, but we ought to give it a try. Maybe after each of the many times we wash our hands today we can add few minutes of just relaxing and breathing deeply.



I want to tell you something about Paul Clasper (1923-2011). Paul was a very good friend of Starcross. In 1950, Paul and his wife were appointed Baptist missionaries in Myanmar. Both of their daughters were born there. Later, Paul morphed over to the Episcopalians and was appointed Dean of the Anglican Cathedral in Hong Kong.


Paul always considered himself a missionary no matter where he was. However, his definition of the task of a missionary might trouble many traditional Christians who attempt to put the path of Jesus into doctrines and rigid boxes.


Paul said, “My job as a missionary is to discover how God is breaking through in cultures other than my own.”



Today is a good day to ask ourselves,


“How is God breaking through in places outside my comfort zone?”


What if that breakthrough is a still and quiet process?


Throughout much of my lifetime I have wondered how the sacred spirit was breaking through in cultures of death. In the 20th century, organized slaughter of the helpless became a prized skill. Hitler and accomplices murdered 20 million non-combatants.


62 million dissidents died in Stalin's reign, and a like number under Mao. And then there was the whole issue of who could build a more deadly bomb in the 1950s, after we had pulverized two Japanese cities. That was followed by senseless wars in various parts of the world, where untold numbers died.


Chloe Clasper-Torch is one of Paul Clasper’s grandchildren. She is now part of the team here at Starcross, and helps us in many ways. Chloe is of the Millennial Generation; there is a 60 year gap between my age and hers. I asked her how she feels God is breaking through today.



She said in nature and in community.


She sees it as the relationships between people who come together and are dedicated to taking care of each other, and in how we take care of the earth. That strikes me as a pretty healthy way of understanding when the sacred aspect of life is breaking through. I find a lot of hope there. I am sure Paul would also.



OK, now it is your turn. Where do you see something sacred breaking through? And, you can't weasel out of this by simply saying, “ No place.”


Is there a bridge that will connect us skeptical old-timers with the hopeful youth of today? Perhaps it can be found in what was scrawled on the walls of a cave near Cologne where some French Jews were hiding from the Nazi terror:


I believe in the sun even though it is late in rising.

I believe in love even though it is absent around me.

God is silent yet I do believe.



There are times when God may be silent in order to help us listen to our own hearts — which is her preferred place to dwell.



Holy Saturday reflection by Brother Toby



From the Passover Celebration liturgy by Jewish Voice for Peace


How good and pleasant it is, brother, sisters, all of us,

sitting together.


How good and pleasant it is, brother, sisters, all of us,

sitting together.


Blessed is the spirit of freedom in whose honor we kindle

the lights of this holiday, Passover, the season of Freedom.


Even as we give thanks for the gift of being together at this time, we take a moment of

silence, in memory of all those we have lost in the past year, since we last sat at the Passover table together.


They may be family or personal loved ones; they may be people who were killed by state-sponsored violence; they may be people who died for the cause of liberation or who died defending their homes and families.


We remember… May the memories of these righteous be a blessing and a reminder of why we gather together to organize, co-resist, and demand justice.


Social Action Blessing

A blessing to mark the purpose of our gathering – to strengthen our commitment to

pursue justice together.


“I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot

sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.


We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”


– Martin Luther King Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” April 16, 1963

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