Prayer and meditation. Turning off the world to better understand and be close to God. To be closer to ourselves. There is protection in silence. Maybe reflection. To share with God our confession and doubt when we feel overwhelmed and tested. No one can take away our space when we are alone. No threats, no demands, no deadlines.
The silence of a Church, a library, a doctor’s examining room before she arrives, or the bike path in the woods. As present as the phones, texts, tweets, and emails in our lives.
But it’s not the silence that is present that hurts us.
It is the silence that we cannot see that causes us our greatest harm.
When we are silent. When others are silent towards us. Choking all of the life out of a relationship, a conversation, a chance to learn and connect with each other. Not in a day. But over time. A little bit here and there. Just like breathing carbon monoxide, we never know that it’s happening until it’s too late. It has nothing to do with our ears and everything to do with our heart.
A silence that is fueled out of our fears and traps us because of our insecurities. We forget that we are the same in order to pretend that we are different. A silence that blinds us to the possibility that we can grow and change if only we would (all of us could but will we) share who we really are.
We want to scream who we are yet afraid of our own voice.
We need to test our heart, our passions, and our dreams by trying, by sharing, by connecting. A treadmill can never run fast enough to catch who we think we are. Only the voice of another can bring us closer to our true selves.