Silence – Good or Bad?

Silence is missing in our culture. It is painfully obvious when we have our streaming music going, the TV playing streaming programs, buzzing from our phones and rings from texts, the sounds surround us with anything but silence. So, when we feel that God is silent, we are surprised. Kind of like if you have the joy of being in deep nature and have no sounds – the silence can be deafening. Except for the quiet breathing, which seems to disrupt the moment, nothing can be heard. (Unless you count the birds, bugs, and other natural sounds – but there is truly nothing artificial.) I was talking to a young adult recently who was struggling with the silence of God. As we talked, I thought of different silences that seem to confront us on a regular basis: silence of anger – this is the teen specialty. The door slams to the room and silence ensues. Not a real fun silence for sure. This can also show up in marriage, work, and other places. Sometimes we can feel that God is in this angry silence – but the reality is probably the opposite. silence of abandonment – loneliness is deafening. And being abandoned, away from support and hope can be a silence that hurts. And we can feel this way in our relationship with God (but who has moved, who has abandoned?) silence on purpose – this is what I got down to with my friend. There was a silence. But it wasn’t fearful. It wasn’t isolating. It was expectant. Like the sound of God was just out of earshot right now. I am ok with the silence of purpose. And in fact, I think it is healthy – we need to renew the joy of expectant silence in our relationship with God.

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