The absence of noise.
Silence is also the absence of communication.
I am uncomfortable in my world when it is very loud, very noisy, but also when it is silent.
As a young child I learned to speak early, learning from my older siblings. I learned to read at the three years old. I did not learn to be quiet. I spoke, chatted, sang, recited stories from books I had memorized without opening the covers. I talked with the garbage man, the mailman, the milkman, and the neighbors.Our next door neighbor asked that my parents leave the gardening on the shared property line to him, as he used it as therapy. That request was made before I began to talk to him. After I started seeking out his company on the days he wished to work, he asked that my mom call him as soon as I was napping so he could trim the shrubs in silence. He appreciated silence. I had not yet learned about silence. I have never been comfortable in silence.
I ponder, “What does silence look like? How would I paint it?” I would include water, and moving water is not silent. I would include the sky, but a stormy sky is not silent. I would include dancing trees, and they also are not silent.
My office is noisy, and those conversations distract my focus. I wear a headset that plays music. I welcome music as a distraction. I also welcome music when it fills the void of silence.
I have learned that silent spaces are moments when I can communicate with Jesus. He is there. He is listening. He welcomes me. Pray in Silence. Listen in Silence. I welcome the voice of Jesus as he fills those silent spaces. May I seek more of the silent spaces and more of Jesus.
Contributed by Joe Lynne Rader, Silverton Friends