When Words Undo Us, Silence Speaks

candle light“To have a good day, one must be willing not only to do things, but to let other things go undone.”

During our ramp up to the holidays that’s an oft used expression. Don’t DO so much. When opportunities become obligations, our energy is sapped and the glow goes right out of the season. Simplify, we say. Moderate, we admonish. Let it go, we advise.

Usually we are talking about keeping the house clean or decorating every last inch, making another batch of cookies or planning that over-the-top celebration for the kindergarten party.

But Dr. Rilling is not talking decorating or cookies. In fact, I am pretty sure he never had a hand in either. He’s talking silence. Let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile. “God’s greatest works are done in silence. So, often, are man’s.”

Why do I feel the need to speak, email, emote, evoke, criticize, chastise and rebuke what’s going on around me? Could I do more in silence? If I withheld my comment and sat with my thoughts for a moment, could I be better? If I took a deep breath and counted the 10 commandments, would the importance of what I was waiting to say have been said? If, in the silence, I prayed that prayer that Jesus taught us, ‘lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil’, would I have answered my own prayer?

Today, as I write, I am nothing. I have nothing to show for a lifetime of study, several degrees, accolades, certificates and even a published book. But I am something. The something I am is a source of encouragement, the voice of hope, the means to move forward, and the place of connection. What I am is the sum total of all I have been, and then some. The ‘then some’ is more than I’ll ever be, and yet it is somehow there. Completely invisible and yet surely completed along the way.

silence treble clefSilence is golden, they used to say. Today, thanks to inflation (and the whole supply and demand thing) it might have gone platinum.

If I had a CD that played nothing but silence, would I listen?

If I did, what would I hear?


About wlebolt

Life comes at you fast. I like to catch it and toss it back. Or toss it up to see where it lands. I do my best thinking when I'm moving. And my best writing when I am tapping my foot to a beat no one else hears. Kinesthetic to the core.

Posted on December 14, 2015, in John W Rilling, Life, Sermon Response and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. If Jesus had rebuked Peter with words, Peter might have found words to excuse himself, but that silence was devastating — and redeeming.

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