Listening to Silence

*throwback entry from a couple weeks ago*

For the first time this week, I heard it: silence.

An electrical storm had rolled through town, temporarily knocking out the power on my street.  Cocooned in the living room, the very center of my home, silence enveloped me.

At first this silence was unwelcome.  I was in the middle of a movie.  I was wasting time and filling the house with noise to distract myself from the fact that I was procrastinating… and mask the silence that told me I was home alone.

Happily, I remembered my battery operated radio on my desk.  I lit a few candles and switched my radio on.  Inspired, I snapped a picture to add on Instagram.  I even had a caption planned: Thank goodness for old school technology #batteryradio #wherewereyouwhenthelightswentout. 

I went to the kitchen for matches to light more candles. That’s when I stopped and heard the beauty of the silence.  The dishwasher had stopped its clicking, the refrigerator its humming, the ac unit its whirling, and the overhead light its buzzing.  The music straining from my room seemed ugly in comparison.

This realization brought a change of mind, so I stationed myself at the kitchen table and opened my windows.  Now I could hear the breeze whisper through the Spring leaves and the birds chirp a post-storm melody.  Every so often raindrops splattered onto the concrete patio.  This was not noise that obscured the beauty of the silence. Rather, it partnered with the silence to bring forth thoughts of my mind and heart that I had kept hidden and numbed behind the curtain of noise and the urgency of preoccupation.

Then the silenced asked…

  •  Why do you avoid me?
  • Why do you hide me with songs, movies, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest?
  • Can you not be still?
  • Are you afraid of your own heart secrets that I might reveal?
  • Can you not forsake distraction and the approval of others, even in your daydreams, to live in the unseen importance of the here and now?
  • Can you lay aside the mask of noise and be vulnerable?

I can’t help but wonder if silence would ask that of all of us.

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