A dim shimmer ghosted behind my arm’s gentle sweep, allowing me to see again the hand previously shrouded by darkness. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, and would not have believed its magnitude had I not experienced it myself. Underwater 30 feet, my first night dive with a couple of friends; a signal, and quench the lights. Wait a moment for the darkness to settle. Then just wave your hand, and there it is: preternaturalesque, mesmerizing, illuminating.

But bioluminescence is not what has always attracted me to time underwater. Although I haven’t dived seriously in years, the wonder of remaining submerged in a pool is the same one offered by scuba: silence. There are sounds, of course, but few, and alien, and mostly drowned by nothing more than breathing in the latter case, a heartbeat in the former.

Odd, isn’t it, that so many wise seers in fiction are deaf, blind, or dying? The image is clear. Seeing this world obscures anything beyond it. Hearing this world means tuning out that one. For all their value—which is great, including pointing us toward their Creator—the lights and sounds of one life can be a curtain to another. As Paul says about affliction: “…we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.” See the irony. We look to the things that are unseen.

And sometimes, we listen for the things that are silent.

This week, through momentary rends in the deafening din of each day’s urgency may we hear—listen to—the thin silence, the low whisper, the still, small voice of our God.