The Bonding of Silence

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                March 12, 2015

                                         

     A number of years ago Becky Pippert, author of the book Out of the Salt Shaker, spoke at a youth convention in Michigan. About seven hundred high school students were gathered in an auditorium to hear her messages during the two and a half days. As Pippert got to the weekend, however, she developed a solid case of laryngitis. She spoke in a voice softer than Marlon Brando’s in The Godfather. A strange thing happened! Seven hundred teenagers became quiet, straining to hear every word that Pippert spoke. Someone with a loud voice would not have gotten the crowd’s attention like she did. The challenges of her affliction caused her audience to listen.

It is an understatement to say that our world is noisy. It is so noisy that people have developed the habit of not being able to listen. Multi-tasking is a nice term we use to excuse the practice of granting someone half of our attention.

But silence can be a bonding instrument. Sometimes the silence of God can bring people together. 1 Kings 19 has the story of the prophet Elijah hiding in a cave. The story is interesting as it described a great and powerful wind tearing the mountain apart, and then an earthquake shaking the land, and then a fire happening. After each of these dramatic…dare I say loud and attention-seeking events…the scripture says that the Lord was not in any of those events, but then came a gentle whisper, and when Elijah heard it and pulled his cloak over his face and stood at the entrance of the cave.

In quiet moments he heard!

I tend more and more to believe that the church makes a lot of noise, but is hearing impaired. Silence disturbs us…invades our comfort zones…seeps into our troubled souls. It is silence, however, that draws the people of God together to listen.

In the viewing room of the deceased as family and friends gather to remember.

In the midst of holding a piece of bread and a small cup of communion wine.

In the holding of a newborn.

In the soft prayer of a child.

In the holding of hands of the gathered saints.

In the silence that follows the sharing of tragic news.

We use the phrase “silence is golden!” Silence is also revealing! Like a voice-impaired youth convention speaker, the lack of a fluent tongue often amplifies the words of the Spirit.

Explore posts in the same categories: Bible, Christianity, Community, Death, Faith, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Pastor, Prayer, Story, The Church, Uncategorized, Youth

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