When Silence Speaks

by | Jan 4, 2012 | Uncategorized

Silence comes like a forgotten friend. Her sacred sinews rip apart with the cares of life but now she returns like an unexpected gift. Standing over kitchen sink, hands submerged in soapy water, I lean into her indentation the size my frame.  It feels good to be here.

The lists, the chores, and the things I “ought” to do: overshadowed by her presence. All seems trivial in the sacred space of silence. My bare feet on the cold tile in my kitchen, they touch holy ground in this moment. He whispers in the movement of water as my fingers scratch labels off colored glass.

That it’s only temporary: what we do to clean up what sin does to a life.

Be still and know that I am God . . . ~Psalm 46:10

And I have been cleaning up all morning. Laundering the table cloths with the spilled wax from holiday dinners, returning the plates we use once a year back to their home in the china cabinet, cleaning up from what a sick dog leaves on carpet and walls and doorframes.

It isn’t his fault. He doesn’t want to be sick, doesn’t deserve to be sick.  He didn’t ask for any of it. He just is sick because the world is fallen.

This dog looks at me as if he reads my mind, knows what I want without speaking. Because he studies his master for nine years now.  He understands the definition of a sigh, the crack in the voice of sorrow, the thrash of anger and he responds accordingly.

Do we know God this way?

Can I hear His voice when there are no words? Because sometimes His voice sounds like a bird singing, a child crying, a heavy sigh of someone sitting beside or a chest rising and falling in slumber.

The chest of my daughter, who returns home after school, stretches out on that same holy ground where I stood earlier, to lay on dog pillows offering comfort for her sick pet.  Drifts into deep sleep.

As I sit there, listen to the rhythm of her breathing, watch her chest rise and fall, I sit immobilized once again and lean in to her.  The sacredness of silence introducing His presence and I am drenched in the holy.

And just like those clean bottles now lining my kitchen counter, I am empty to fill because silence washed the labels off. The labels dictating a list of ingredients to make a day productive, successful, rewarding. Her value is priceless and I see with new eyes. Settle into this sacred space and breathe deep.

Can you risk and sit with silence?

Listen to her. She brings perspective.

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence. We need silence to be able to touch souls.  –Mother Teresa

Linking with Ann on The Practice of New Habits (practicing silence being mine) and Jennifer to share a God Incidence in my kitchen and Jen at Soli Deo Gloria.

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  1. kd sullivan

    Wow, wow, wow…I love… Can I hear His voice when there are no words? Because sometimes His voice sounds like a bird singing, a child crying, a heavy sigh of someone sitting beside or a chest rising and falling in slumber. In fact, I’m facebooking with a link….

    • Redemption's Beauty

      You are so kind, thank you. Always puts a smile on my face when what I get the confirmation that what I heard to write resonates with someone. You blessed me today!

  2. Robin

    How I long to make a place in my house where I can find silence. Sitting here in my house alone this morning and it is quiet. Hasn’t been this quiet in months. This place I imagine is a room designed for just me. To cuddle up in a chair and listen, read, rest, or write. Some day.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I found it in the kitchen, which isn’t usual Robin. But His presence can find us anywhere can’t it? I hope your prayers are answered for that sacred space someday.

  3. Tara@pohlkottepress

    this is so beautiful. your words do so much justice to the wonder of the moment when you feel yourself silent and at peace.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Tara! Sometimes I am just so amazed at the ways in which God shows up. It was a lesson in silence and listening yesterday at my kitchen sink. And a beautiful lesson I will always cherish.

  4. Dea Moore

    I call it hearing the Small Voice from the Big God. I have only heard it in silence. Oh, how I need to make more room for those times in my life. Love the quote from Mother Teresa. “We need silence to be able to touch souls.” Such wisdom.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I think that could be the first time I actually noticed the silence . . in a long time. Dea it is so nice to visit with you today. Enjoyed your post.

  5. roseann elliott

    I clicked on you and one other from my comments…both…like me…have Be still….maybe this is what He is asking…risk being silent…and I ditto kd comment…
    Blessings as we both tune our hearts to hear His voice…the one with and without words…

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I call those sacred echoes. Hearing the same thing/message more than a couple of times. Gods way of speaking to me many times throughout my day. Hope you had a nice break Ells and blessing to you on that first grandbaby. Mine are just 15 and 12 and I am already looking forward to those days! Blessings.

  6. Hazel Moon

    Thank you for your beautiful post on Silence! God usually speaks in the still small voice. I have never heard an audible voice except when ministers speak for Him. He speaks silently as I read His Word and lets me know his will.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Hazel, what a pleasure to have you join the conversation on silence. I, like you, hear him in the quiet. Whether driving, showering, or sitting still in the early morning hours, I hear His whispers. And I am so thankful for that voice! Blessings to you.

  7. Deidra

    Silence is such a good friend.One with whom I don’t spend nearly enough time.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Yes, she is one that stands waiting without being too pushy and then when I invite her in, I am reminded of how much I love her! So good to be in communication again. I missed your voice over the break!

  8. Laura

    This was a deep breath for me. Much needed, refreshing, renewing. This is new to me, only in the sense that I must relearn it each day, unfortunately. Oh, to lean in to the discipline of silence. You encourage me to do so. Lovely, lovely.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      When you are an “outnumbered mom” silence is a golden gift. But an encouraged heart by what you read here is a golden gift to me! So glad and thankful. Blessings to you and keep breathing deep! All is grace.

  9. kelly lee oconnor

    That is my favorite sound….quiet. Funny, I had a holy moment at the sink today. Such a blessing and unexpected gift.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thousands of miles apart and having holy moments at our sinks. Now that is pretty amazing. Love you Kelly!

  10. LuAnn

    “When Silence Speaks” is beautiful and profound. Once again (can I name something twice on the list?) I thank God for you. Thank you Shelly for thinking, writing, photographing, formating, publishing and all the multitudes of “ings” that no one sees but God, and when done we see Him more clearly-brilliantly.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks LuAnn. It is all grace, all His doing or it is rubbish! Always thankful when what He inspires in these posts speak to a heart. Especially one I know and love so much! Thank you.

  11. wolfsrosebud

    lovely prose…. very poetic lines… pics are beautiful… the lesson… outstanding… may God’s stillness fill your day… stopping in from Scribbling Spiritual Sand Monday’s… stop by to see our Scripture challenge for next Monday

    • Redemption's Beauty

      What a gift your comments are to me! Thank you so much. I will hide them in my heart today and savor them.

  12. Vicki in Texas

    Thank you for the reminder to press into the silence of the day…..to listen before speaking, to listen before the prayers. His voice is everywhere….smile, I found it in the heavy water pouring over me in the shower this morning. Because I had read your post prior I listened to the water and knew immediately it was a reminder that His living water flows.
    Again, I thank you!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanking God for the revelation you had in the shower Vicki! I do some of my best thinking and hearing Him in the shower. Blessings to you dear friend.

  13. Lyla Lindquist

    I wonder sometimes if we treat silence as a luxury, somewhere beyond our means. And other times we treat it as punishment, something to be avoided at all costs.

    Either way, we miss not only the gift, but the necessity of it.

    In my dreams, heaven is not a raucous all-night party. It is endless, comfortable silence.

    Beautiful imagery here, Shelly. I thank you for it.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Lyla, I think you are so right. We do treat silence as schizophrenic friend, a luxury we long for and then something to be avoided at all costs. Maybe finding a comfortable place within ourselves is when we behold silence as a gift. Thank you for your inspiring, thought provoking comment. Rich nuggets to digest!

  14. Positively Alene

    Silence. Why is it so awkward at times, but yet oh so needed? Thanks for this great reminder to be still. be silent. just be. Glad I found your site through God-Bumps!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Love that link-up at Jennifer Lee’s place, don’t you? Yes, she took me by surprise that silence. Reminded me how much I need it. Hope you can find some time to let it engulf you too!

  15. Shanda

    What a beautiful thought: that He washes off the labels to fill it with that which he desires!

  16. Connie@raise your eyes

    Such a peace-filled, contemplative corner of the cyber world here. The silence is lovely…

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