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I read an insightful article from Fuller Studio entitled Silence, Patience and Presence. I especially liked what the author, Dr. David Augsburger, had to say about Silence, and want to share some with you. He begins the article recounting an experience when he was a young pastor and went to be with a man whose wife had just died. They went for a long walk in the rain. Neither man talked. When they got back to the house, the man told the pastor to go home. On the way home, the pastor, the author of the article, felt ashamed, an utter failure, because he had not give the man any advice or words of comfort. Later he realized that silent presence was probably the best pastoral care that he could have given.

He follows with some wonderful quotes about silence.

To every thing there is a season …

A time to weep and a time to laugh,

A time for mourning and a time for dancing,

A time for silence and a time for speech. (Eccles. 3:4,7)

——

Silence is the gift we give when words are untrustworthy, unnecessary, unwise.

——

Those who know do not talk; those who talk do not know.”

Chinese wisdom from the Tao Te Ching

If your speech is no better than silence, be silent.”

Dionysius the Elder

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”

Abraham Lincoln

——

Silence precedes speech:

only the one who has learned to be silent is prepared to speak.

——

No moment of silence is a waste of time.”

Quaker Rachel Needham

It is often more effective to fast with words than with food.”

Rabbi Vilna Gaon

The deeper one’s nature, the more time is necessary for solitude.”

Soren Kierkegaard

Nothing in all creation is so like God as silence.”

Meister Eckhart

Those who hear the word of God can also hear his silence.”

St. Ignatius of Antioch

Richard Rohr’s Prayer from Psalm 46:10:

Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know that I am.

Be still and know.

Be still.

Be.”

In silence and hope shall be your strength.”

(Isa. 35:15)

—–

Silence is the language of respect.

—–

Be quick to listen, slow to speak.”

(James 1:19)

Job and friends:

seven days of silence waiting for the sufferer to speak first.

_____

Ezekiel: at the end of his journey, to be present with Judean exiles:

For seven days I sat in silence dumbfounded.”

**************

One who loves God loves silence also.

One who loves Christ loves the silence of the desert.

One who knows the Spirit knows the winds of silence.

If we root our lives in silence we grow deep into God.

Dr. Augsburger

I have been thinking a lot about the importance of silence after reading this article. I wonder if I spend enough time in silent reflection of God and his will; of Christ and his sacrifice; of the Holy Spirit and what he is saying to me. I am concerned that maybe I speak useless words without thinking that may offend or hurt a brother or sister. Perhaps I need more time alone to consider the deep things of the Father and the Word and listen to his still, small voice. I will go off by myself to a quiet place and give it a think.

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