Jun 23, 2013

Power within Silence

 
A saint asked his disciples, "Why do we shout in anger? Why do people shout at each other when they are upset?"

Disciples thought for a while, one of them said, "Because we lose our calm, we shout for that."

"But, why to shout when the other person is just next to you?" asked the saint. "Isn't it possible to speak to him or her with a soft voice? Why do you shout at a person when you're angry?"

Disciples gave some other answers but none satisfied the saint.

Finally he explained, "When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other through that great distance."

"When you argue do not let your hearts get distant, do not say words that distance each other more, else there will come a day when the distance is so great that you will not find the path to return."

Then the saint asked, "What happens when two people fall in love? They don't shout at each other but talk softly, why? Because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is very small..."

The saint continued, "When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that's all. That is how close two people are when they love each other."

Likewise, the more you love God the less audible he will be... God speaks in silences, and only those who are quiet of heart can hear what he says. The underlying reality is that there is no friendship with God without silence. This "silence" does not mean just keeping noise levels low; it is the form of pure truthfulness. Unless one has learned to stop, be quiet and listen to another, then one remains locked in one's own little world. In silence we make the wonderful and liberating discovery that we are not gods, but just creatures.

"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him." (Psalm 62:5)

When a quiet moment comes and we sit before the Lord, what comes to mind may not be a moral thought or a feeling of praise. We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. In silence, we have no choice but to trust God. There is a divine impulse within us that knows there is a power within silence; knows the truth of the divine and is afraid to listen. One of the reasons silence is awkward for so many, is a subconscious, unknown fear. Fear of what we might hear.

Scripture says it is in silence we have peace. It is silence we have true intimacy with our creator. In the silence we renew our strength. As we go beyond awkwardness, we discover silence is amazing. We have nothing to fear from silence.

In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.

When was the last time you sat with God in awkward silence?
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