Troubled by silence

A vision reborn?

When I first came to faith, Amy Carmichael’s vision was something which often seemed to be quoted in mission sermons. I have not thought of it for years. However, just this week – in the pre-dawn of the driverless car, I have found another vision troubling me…


There’s a group of us standing on the brow of a hill.  The sun is out and we are all in summer clothes as we enjoy it.  It’s a large group, and we are spread in a loose kind of a circle across the grass.

Beside us, a road climbs up the hill, cresting it just next to our group.  Over the other side it drops away sharply and I cannot see where it goes.  I know, though, as you always do in a dream – that it is bad.  There is a brooding darkness and a sickening unease down the other side of the hill.

Cars are coming up the hill one after the other – quiet, steady …and driverless.  They drift past the group of us over the brow of the hill before disappearing forever the other side. 

At first I pay no attention as they are so quiet – and there is plenty going on in the group. I look now though – and shudder at what I see. All the passengers are banging, banging on the windows as they drift by – their mouths are round ‘O’s of horror.  They want to stop, or get out, or something – but the cars drift on and on.

I turn back to the group to tell them – but there is a commotion going on.  It seems to be something about the game they are playing or the song they are singing or the joke they are sharing and I cannot make myself heard.  As often in a dream – I shout for all I am worth but no sound comes out – like the people trapped behind the glass in the cars.


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