As a young man growing up, I spent many hours every week out in the woods that surrounded my childhood. Old growth logs lay across forest floors like silent sentinels of a time gone by.
If you climbed up on top of these sleeping giants you could see the gentle twists and turns in the salmon berry bushes and ferns that hinted at the trails that lay hidden beneath them.
Trails that were worn hard by the footfalls of the animals who roamed the forests, and the little boys who dared to follow. Follow I must, and follow I did, for I heard the call in silence and I longed to know her face.
A vivid imagination and the writings of men like Jack London and Robert Service only served as encouragement. I could go on great expeditions conquering worlds yet unknown and never leave the boundaries of the 360 acres that we called home.
If the call of the wild was a disease, then I was not only infected, I was in full fever. Still today, I love nothing more than a forest floor and a trail leading off into somewhere unknown.
The desire to explore today is tempered by the limitations of an old body that still has a young spirit.
That and a deep sense of responsibility to stay employed keep me close in where the sounds of the buoy bell and the traffic of passing cars mingle with the ships horns and the seagulls cry, but the call of the wild cannot be drowned out.
This week my wife and I had the privilege of sharing in the celebration of life service for Pam Yngve.
As the stories unfolded during times with the family as they were preparing for the service and also as they were told and retold during the service itself and the fellowship time following, you could tell that she too followed an inner voice that spoke in silence.
A voice that led her to the remoteness of Kodiak and helped her to live her life without regret.
In the 19th chapter of 1 Kings we find a story of another voice in silence. Elijah had done great things for God, but he was now running in fear and was ready to give up. Laying in a cave where he had spent the night, God asked him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
After being told to go out and stand on the mountain, there was a mighty rushing of wind that tore into the mountain and broke rocks.
That was followed by an earthquake which was followed by a fire. Then God spoke in a still small voice and gave Elijah another task to perform.
God still speaks to those who listen, and the voice that speaks in silence called my wife and I into His service which brought us here to this island paradise.
I still hear the call of the wild as Robert Service wrote of in his poem by the same name. I just recognize the voice now as I gaze into the face of my Savior. Exercising literary license, let me close with his poems ending with slight modification.
Let us probe the silent places, let us seek where God may guide us.
Let us journey to a paradise I know.
There’s a whisper on the night wind, there’s a God above to guide us.
And His voice is calling, calling…. Let us go.