Shut Up, Already! Enough! Silence!

One of my closest friends was filling in as guest preacher one Sunday morning. I love my friend’s teaching but he doesn’t have the most animated  speaking style.

That day, one of the young moms trying to teach her five-year-old how to worship, decided to keep him with her throughout the service.

About twenty-five minutes into the sermon, the little boy couldn’t take anymore. Throwing himself face down into the pew beside her, he covered his ears, began to cry and pleaded loudly,

“Make him stop, Mommy! Pleeeeeeeese, make him stop!”

I love bringing that story up over coffee with my friend!

Sometimes, though, I feel just like the little guy.

There are so many words coming at me every day from the television, radio, Internet, email, texts, phone, family, friends, and total strangers that I often find myself wanting to stick my fingers in my ears and yell, “Make it stop! Pleeeeeeessssse! Can’t everyone just be quiet?”

I love words. Words are usually my best friends but sometimes, especially during times of great trouble and stress, they feel like so many hurled rocks at a stoning with me at the center.

What I think I want are answers but God knows that what I need is silence.

Jeremiah said so in Lamentations 3: 24-28: “I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;  it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young. Let him sit alone in silence, for the LORD has laid it on him.”

And Isaiah, also a prophet, proclaimed this against Israel, “This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.” Isaiah 30:15

Quietness and trust. Waiting quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Sitting alone in silence. Tough disciplines in modern times. Probably, tough exercises throughout every time.

And yet, these admonishments are wise and true. In these days of terrible stress, whenever I can, I pull away, shut everything off, and bathe in silence like a good steam.

My life is an unraveled mess right now. I have a laundry list of needs that would stymie a supply clerk at a Wal-mart warehouse. But, I know God knows this. He sees. His understanding of the situation is even clearer than is mine.

So, when I imagine meeting with Him alone, I picture us sitting at the end of a dock on a quiet lake at sunset. He’s sitting there with me not talking and Him not talking. We’re just watching the loons and listening to the water lilies snap shut.

Sure, there are things I need.

There are questions I have.

But things are not all and answers are never as satisfying as we think they’ll be.

But He is.

A moment of silence with Him speaks more deeply to my needs than a hundred years of words from the voices that fill the airwaves of this noisy planet.

There is a time for words but every great composer knows that the well-placed rest is as vital to the music as the sweetest notes.

Now, go be quiet.

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    The Conversation

  1. Karin says:

    Both hubby and I love our silence! He knows! He cares! He loves perfectly!

  2. Susan says:

    Hi Lori,
    This was an excellent post…I loved it!

    I’m a good friend of Margaret Gamba’s and she just gave me your blog address. You are a wonderful writer and I will be checking back often!

    Blessings to you,
    Susan Brown

  3. Loved this post. We’re just coming out of nearly two years that sound very similar to where you are now. I can tell you it does eventually pass but in the midst of it, oh my my! My husband and I have been a mess. But the lessons … well, at this moment I wouldn’t trade anything for all we’ve learned and the ways we’ve changed. I love your transparency and the ways you share it.

  4. “A moment of silence with Him speaks more deeply to my needs than a hundred years of words from the voices that fill the airwaves of this noisy planet.” This post is so beautifully written! Great job!

  5. Dorothy P says:

    I hear you, Lori, but I don’t wholly agree. Sometimes words – noisy, angry words – are necessary to rebut angry accusations like “Why didn’t you speak up? Do you think I’m a mind reader?” Silence can be a wedge driven between partners, forcing them apart.