The president of the school is speaking in chapel.
He speaks every other week. Stands up front and teaches.
He doesn’t use notes, and doesn’t stand anywhere near the podium.
He just stands there in his suit and teaches from the Bible, from his heart.
We’re done with worship and have just recently taken our seats.
We’re sitting in our red chapel seats, watching and listening.
The president is talking seriously.
He’s giving the statistics of pastors who leave the ministry, churches that close, hearts that turn away from Christ.
He’s done talking for a moment, and pauses to let his words sink in.
And a blanket of silence enfolds the auditorium.
Nobody’s feet shuffle. No red seats flip up. No papers shuffle. No Bibles shift open or thump shut.
Rich, thick, heavy silence is everywhere in this auditorium.
Sitting in my seat, arms crossed, I allow myself to sink into the silence.
Let the silence wash over me.
It’s a fleeting moment. Before long the president must speak again, must continue teaching.
But in those seconds, as the gathered school held its breath and allowed the solemnity of the facts to sink in, absolute silence pervaded the chapel.
Deep, breath-taking silence.