This word may not be for everybody, but it sure hit me where I’m at when I read it.

As you may know if you’ve been following me a while, I LOVE Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest devotional.  In the devotion for the day I’m writing this, it reads,

“You will find that God has trusted you in the most intimate way possible, with an absolute silence, not of despair, but of pleasure, because He saw that you could stand a bigger revelation….A wonderful thing about God’s silence is that the contagion of His stillness gets into you and you become perfectly confident–‘I know God has heard me.’ His silence is proof that He has….If Jesus Christ is bringing you into the understanding that prayer is for the glorifying of His Father, He will give you the first sign of His intimacy–silence.”

I really loved that perspective–that silence isn’t abandonment, it isn’t forgetfulness–it’s intimacy.  That clicked for me, because I’m an introvert, and there’s little better than people that you can sit in silence with and not feel any pressure to speak, entertain, or give them anything from you.  You can simply sit in companionable silence, and be alone together.  It’s those people that don’t count as people, those people that you can be around when you’re tired of being around people, that I have the most intimate relationships with.  Instead of feeling awkward, I often feel flattered when I can be around someone, just them and me, and neither of us feel the need to talk because we both know what’s going on.  When we can comfort each other without words.  When it’s just being there that counts.  It’s not passivity–it’s active–but it’s rest.  It’s peace.  It’s an active silence, an active intimacy.

I have a strong dislike, on the other hand, for passivity–when people haven’t made the effort to build the relationship that can withstand silence.  Silence is a privilege to be able to share, not a punishment or force to be used in manipulation.  The use of silence for a punishment cheapens the majesty of it in its proper setting.  Passive silence kills intimacy, not nurtures it.  Passive silence deepens the chasm from one heart to another, but active silence is working.  It is comforting.  It is healing, and it is listening.  Active silence watches; active silence picks up on the little things that passivity misses.  Active silence is a whole other language.

Active silence is patience and kindness.  Active silence endures, not ignores.  Active silence is a waltz of connecting and leading without words.  Active silence picks up the pieces that passivity created.  Active silence holds hurts and hearts.  It is tangible and real.  There is no doubt of presence.  It is intentional, but never cruel-hearted.

It is a gift.

(I hope this makes sense to you extroverts out there.)


love first, love well, love anyway-4

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I'm a writer who publishes my thoughts on the life I'm living, literature I'm reading, and God I'm serving. Psalm 27:4 One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.

5 thoughts on “Silence

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