The Last 24 Hours
Last night it was our three children and I, for the entire night. Actually, it went pretty well. I find that our oldest, Evan, is not only very good at charades, but also enjoys relaying my instructions to His sisters, and making sure they carry out my bidding….we’re working on that.
My Wife and I tried to make the most of conversation when she got home. I found myself speaking more frequently than I did throughout the day, but she throws in so many questions in the course of a conversation that it would catch me off guard.
I wonder how many questions Zechariah’s elderly wife, now a mom-to-be, asked her aging husband? I wonder if Zechariah, found himself (as I do now) making bigger and bigger facial expressions, as if that would help His Wife understand the words He was trying to say? I imagine, after several months had gone by, Zechariah would simply sit next to Elizabeth, rest His hand on her stomach, and hold her close….sometimes, that’s the only communication you need. But with the guys in my office, trust me, that did not work the same way….
Today I did pretty well, navigating a conversation with my mechanic, and several voicemail messages without speaking. Usually, it’s when I don’t see an encounter coming, that I talk more; a random question, bumping in to someone at the gas station. It’s like if I don’t see it coming, I forget I’m not suppose to speak – it’s definitely not a habit yet.
What I’m Learning
I miss speaking, communicating with words and interacting in a conversation. Sometimes the barrier can be frustrating. While silence is so important in a culture gone loud, it has also forced me to look at the words I choose to speak. I’ve been around several conversations, in which what I wanted to say, but couldn’t, wasn’t really worth saying. So many times what I would have injected into a conversation would only serve to make certain that I had the last laugh; or steer the conversation toward me, in a way that makes me look better than I really am. In some conversations, I don’t want to talk, I just want to have control. But in silence, you are no longer in control; no steering, directing, distracting or covering up.
Maybe this is why, when we read about how we are to approach God, the recommendation in the Bible is often silence. It’s a reminder that we do not steer or direct or have control. Maybe this is what silence taught, Zechariah….I know it is what silence is teaching me.
For God alone, Oh my soul, wait in silence. For my hope is in Him. Psalm 62:5