22nd September 2021

Contemplating Silence

Sitting in the garden in the late afternoon sunshine, we commented on how peaceful and quiet it was. Usually there are sounds from our neighbours gardens, children playing (or screaming) or DIY going on. We sat listening to and enjoying the silence. It made me think about when we experience silence in our busy noisy world.

People are almost afraid of silence. Many seem to need music or voices which they often hear through these strange little antennae in their ears. As if there aren’t enough distractions which impinge on silence.

How do we experience silence in the course of our everyday lives?

There is the silence of expectation when a hush falls on the spectators at a tennis match before the ball is served.

There is the silence of concentration engendered by a demanding or creative task.

There is the silence of horror in the immediate moments following a disaster.

There is the silence of amazement awe and wonder at the beauty of creation.

Then there is the silence of contemplation and prayer as we meditate on God’s word. That deep intimate silence which surpasses all other times of quiet.

Jesus knew his disciples needed such times as he himself did. This is why he took them away to a quiet and lonely place to rest (Mark 6:30-32).

In the silence of the hill top, Peter, James and John saw the glory of Jesus and heard the voice of God (Luke 9:35).

So it is important for us to find silence, quieten our minds and dwell on God and listen to what He is saying to us.

Elizabeth Webb