Silence

IMG_0585One of the disciplines that is hard to achieve in our bustling, hurrying, sound filled lives is that of silence. But if we do not know how to practice silence, if we do not make space for it, we may miss the time we are offered the chance to give that gift to one¬†who needs us to listen. I love the silence of early morning – sitting with my cup of coffee as darkness opens to soft light. It is as if I am stilled in the lap of God, resting in the dawn of a new day’s hope.

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Talking always comes much easier than listening, but it is in silence that I can tune my ears and learn what it means to really hear. In my recent reading, I found the words from Rachel Naomi Remen as well as the poetry by John Fox. Both speak to the value of learning silence and deeply listening.

“Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In its presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to build a life. Silence is a place of great power and healing.”

~ Rachel Naomi Remen,

 

When someone deeply listens to you
it is like holding out a dented cup
you’ve had since childhood
and watching it fill up with
cold, fresh water.WWhen someone deeply listens to you
ithen it balances on top of the brim,
you are understood.
When it overflows and touches your skin,
you are loved.

When someone deeply listens to you
the room where you stay
starts a new life
and the place where you wrote
your first poem
begins to glow in your mind’s eye.
It is as if gold has been discovered.

When someone deeply listens to you
your barefeet are on the earth
and a beloved land that seemed distant
is now at home within you.

~ John Fox

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