The coffee is ready, I gather my books and duck out the back door into the dark of the morning. Staring into the early sky, a project from grade school comes to mind. Black construction paper stretches over a light source. Small hands take turns poking holes with a sharp yellow pencil.

I pause on my way to the small building behind our house, get lost for a moment in the black paper sky boasting a handful of poked out wonder, the tiniest dots of twinkling white made with a sharp point from the other side.

I imagine God holding a giant pencil. Number 2.

The screen door creeks as I open it and walk into our make-shift study, turn on the heat, light a candle. We call it The Man Room, but today it’s a sanctuary. Quietness sings praises and still hands are my sacrifice.

Today is the last day of hush.

But not really.

I’m only beginning to practice the fine art of listening, not just while I’m alone in the presence of God but while I sit among friends and family. I’ve always considered myself a fairly attentive listener. This month I haven’t been able to hide from my dysfunction.

As it turns out, my listening tends to center around me, my own needs, what I might have to gain in the hearing or what I am able to offer that will be helpful or well-received. Realizing this is uncomfortable.

But comfort is highly overrated.

Repentance is freedom. I’m turning from that kind of listening. It is a slow, painful turn but there is hope in this circling. Not just a hope for me, but for us, the community. The church.

These 31 days are left unfinished. I feel like we’ve only begun to turn the key. This morning, I’m at peace with that.

I’ll end this series without fanfare today, but come back tomorrow (or maybe the next day?) where I plan to host a giveaway of some of the books I’ve been sitting with during the series. I hope to see you then. Let’s continue the journey together.

Did you write your own 31 days series this year? Go tell our host The Nester what you thought of the experience!

This is day 31 of 31 Days to Hush. Visit the hush page to see all the posts in the series. If you would like to receive new posts in your email inbox, subscribe now.