It means, literally, bad sound. It’s a word we use to describe a construction site, or an active accident scene, or an orchestra warming up.

It’s a word we could use to describe the noise of expectations inside our heads. Or the clashing ideas from our friends sharing and expressing opinions on social media.

It’s a word that we could use to describe our lives.

And it’s the word that Nancy gave me to write about.

I could, of course, point us to Psalm 4 or Psalm 46 (be still). I could point to Psalm 23 that talks about the shepherd leading the sheep beside still waters. I could point us to the silence that followed Jesus’ command to the cacophony of wind and waves: “be still.”

Though those examples are helpful, or can be, they often create in our thoughts more chaos: “I should trust God and be still, but I can’t and that will make him more upset and I’m not measuring up and if I were a good Christian like her, I would be able to do this, but I guess I’m not…..”


Recently, I was with a person with a loved one in the middle of a medical emergency. My call to the person had been a shock. I was with them when they arrived, talked to the doctor, got some things started.

I was ready to move on while they had to wait. And I said gently, “Jessy. Look at me.” We made eye contact. And I talked to God briefly.

It was a moment of silence. A moment of still in the cacophony.

So friend, look at me. Hold the phone up, stop skimming for a second. Look at me.

“God, you know all the people doing this, but better, you know each person. At this moment, for just a moment, would you make them aware of your peace?

Thank you.