God's Silence

Unknown Author

An old Norwegian legend relates about a man called Haakon, who always contemplated an image of Christ crucified, this Cross was very ancient, people came to it, to pray with much faith. Many were praying to Christ for a miracle.

One day Haakon, the hermit, wanted to ask Him a favor. Driven by a feeling of generosity, goodness and love he knelt before the Cross and said: "Lord, I want to suffer and die for You. Let me take your place. I want to be You on the Cross." And he remained with his eyes fixed on Him, as if expecting an answer.

The Lord opened His mouth and spoke. His words fell from the heavens, whispering and admonishing: "My loyal servant, I shall grant you your wish, but only under one condition".

“What is it, my Lord? Is it a difficult condition? I am ready to fulfill it with your help, Lord!” – answered the old hermit.

“Listen: Whatever may happen and regardless of whatever you may see, you must always keep in silence." Haakon answered: "I promise You this, my Lord!" And they carried out the exchange. Nobody noticed the barter. Nobody recognized the hermit, hung by nails to the cross.

And for a long time he kept the agreement. And he never spoke to anyone. But one day, a rich man came, after having prayed, he forgot his wallet there.

Haakon saw him and kept silent. Neither did he speak when a poor man, that came two hours later, took the rich man´s purse and kept it. And he also remained silent when a young man knelt down before him shortly afterwards, asking for his grace before parting on a long trip.

Then the rich man came back to look for his wallet. And not finding it, he thought that the young man had taken it.

The rich man shouted furiously at the young man, “Give me the wallet you have stolen from me!”

The young man answered: “I haven´t stolen any wallet!”.

Then the rich man said: “Don´t lie, give it back to me, immediately!”.

The young man affirmed: “I am telling you, I haven´t taken any wallet from anybody!"

The rich man started hitting him furiously. Then a powerful voice filled the air: “Stop!”

The rich man looked up and saw that the image was speaking to him. Haakon could not keep silent, he called out from the cross, defending the young man and scolded the rich man for his false accusation. The rich man was astonished and left the place.

The young man also left because he was in a hurry to go on his voyage. When the Cross remained alone, Christ approached His servant and told him: "Come down from the Cross. You are not fit to occupy my place. You haven´t been able to keep silence".

"Lord", - said Haakon - "How could I allow such injustice?".

Jesus once again took His place on the Cross and the hermit stood under the Cross. The Lord, continued speaking: "You didn´t know that it was good for the rich man to have lost his wallet, for in it he was carrying money to go to commit sexual sin with a young virgin. Whereas the poor man did well because he was in need of money in his utter poverty. It would have been better if the young man was beaten up by the rich man in his misunderstanding in which case he would have not gone for his voyage. Now, you see, a few minutes ago he died in a ship-wrecked. You didn´t know all these things BUT I DID. That is why I am silent”. And the Lord once again kept silence.

Often we ask ourselves? Why doesn´t God answer our prayers. Why does God remain silent?

Many of us would like Him to answer us according to our will and fancies, but God’s way is different. He knows the past, present and future (Heb 13: 8). God answers us even in silence. We must be ready to listen to Him and to wait upon Him.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts” (Is 55: 8-9).

“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope” (Jer 29: 11).

“I love you, Lord, my strength, Lord, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer. My God, my rock of refuge, my shield, my saving horn, my stronghold” (Ps 18: 1-2).

Veritas, 16th June 2005 / 2nd December 2010