I can remember those days so clearly—when my children and my husband had gone to school, and I was alone in a silent house.
I loved the silence of the house when everyone else had left for the day, and I could feel the silence. I remember the ticking of the clock and the dust motes dancing in the sunlight that streamed through the windows. I felt as if the silence was a golden gift. I had time to think and dream and just experience being.
Silence can be very welcome in the clamor of our modern lives. Our world is filled with insistent voices wanting to be heard. Sometimes we long to escape the demands of a noisy, tumultuous world. But have we actually become so accustomed to these demands that we are addicted to them?
Silence has many qualities. There is the companionable silence of being with someone you know so well that there is no need for conversation.
There is the awkward silence that sometimes occurs in a conversation when you are with someone unfamiliar, or when someone makes a comment for which you have no response.
There is the silence that happens within a strained relationship when each one feels resistance to carrying on a conversation because of real or imagined hurts.
There is the silence in a house when someone is gone and won’t be coming home, a silence that seems to echo through the rooms.
Some people have a difficult time dealing with silence, and they avoid it by having the television or radio provide constant background noise. After my husband passed away, I experienced this for quite a while. I often had music or the television on simply to fill the silence. As long as there was noise, I didn’t have to deal with my grief.
But God can use silence in our lives to speak truths to us when a busy, noisy world keeps us from hearing his voice. When God spoke to Elijah, it was not in the great and powerful wind, not in the earthquake. It was not in the fire. God spoke to Elijah in a gentle whisper.
A whisper cannot be heard in the clamor that often surrounds us. We need to still our minds to be able to hear that still, small voice.
We need the restoration that silence brings. That restoration can give us a fresh perspective and new strength.
I am becoming more accustomed to silence again, and I welcome times when I just hear the ticking of the clock at home. I don’t listen to my devices when I walk, but I enjoy listening to the sounds of God’s world.
This COVID-19 pandemic has brought about some unplanned inactivity. Instead of chafing against it, maybe we should start looking for what God wants to teach us. I have found it to be a refreshing time in drawing nearer to the One who loves me and wants to speak to me.
Maybe you need to take this time to tune out the negative news and draw closer to the One who holds you in his hands to see what his next purpose is for you. Listen closely for his gentle whisper, and you will sense his words of peace and comfort for you.
Patsy is a blog writer and author of the recently published book In God’s Hands–the story of her parents’ almost 40-year missionary service in Indonesia. Search this new release on Amazon.