Are you afraid of silence? We live in a world filled with noise, especially if you live in an urban area. Silence should come as a welcome relief, no? (Read or watch.)
(At the end of the video, I offered resources in becoming a better listener through a free mini course called Be Present with God through Four Spiritual Practices.)
I remember growing up. My mother had the radio blaring in the kitchen, the television blaring in the living room, and another television blaring in her bedroom. Yes, all at the same time.
I couldn’t wait to be old enough to get a place of my own so that I could have peace and quiet!
A Lonely Silence
It’s rare for me to have the house to myself. We lost our dog, Wilson, to a sudden brain tumor two Christmases ago. T.C. Kitty, died of old age more than five years ago. So, when Robert left to play tennis on Saturday morning, I was alone in a very silent house.
I spend my mornings in silence up in my office. This is my sacred time in prayer, meditation, and writing.
But this silence was different. This was a lonely silence. It’s then that I had more compassion for my mother’s blaring electronics. I understood that the noise served as company for her.
The psalmist says, “Be still and know that I am God.” But if we are to “know God,” we start by being still. It’s only when we are quiet and still that we can listen. I say that prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening to God.
Finding Beauty in Silence and Not Fear
Do you notice in conversations how silence can be awkward? It’s as if people have forgotten the beauty and power in a pause. There is a need to think of how to respond to keep the conversation going, sometimes, not paying full attention because you’re so busy thinking of what to say next.
In music, some of the most deeply felt emotions are experienced during the rests, those little gaps of silence like in Beethoven’s famous 5th Symphony in C Minor or the dramatic silence at the end of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus between the final two hallelujahs.
Psalm 62:1-2 says, “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.”
Give Unwelcomed Thoughts in Silence to God
In the silence, we are left alone with our thoughts. With no outward sound, inwardly, these thoughts can be very noisy!
These can be thoughts of worry, regret, events from the past, anger, resentment, unworthiness, fear, fill in your thought demons here.
Thankfully, we are saved from these thoughts in the silence through God’s love waiting to restore us to wholeness. Give those thoughts to God.
Ways to Embrace and Not Be Afraid of Silence
We do that through time in prayer, meditation, and an awareness of God’s presence with us always throughout our day – not just during time that we may set aside.
At a stop light, don’t check your phone or have the radio blaring. Express to God what you are grateful for out loud in the silence.
When you lay your head on your pillow, give thanks for another day. Turn any unresolved challenges over to God.
Embrace silence as an invitation to be aware of God’s presence. A presence that we are always one with and never separate from.
I talk a little more about being still and being afraid of silence in a light-hearted interview on the Bott Radio Network with host Marty Guise from Lay Renewal Ministries. Listen to the short 12-minute interview.
Are you afraid of silence, or do you welcome silence? I welcome your comments below.