Eric's Sunday Sermon; The Sound of Silence
Eight Years Later I Took Him Back
What is Silence?
Days go by without the sound of silence. We like road trips where we just hold hands and listen to the sound of silence. A baby sleeping is a sound of silence, say just enough. The spouse is on a stress roll and the sound of silence is the best you can do. A preacher man just stops and tells them to enjoy the sound of silence. And there is some song “The Sound of Silence”.
I cannot count the times I sat in a desert and just enjoyed of the sound of silence. Get up and put those shoes on and walk the streets of Hanoi and hear a full vibrant city be silent. And then in an hour hear the difference. Long before the sun, maybe it must be 3 O’clock. But do it. Four thirty this morning with lifesaving fog I stepped outside and there was a great sound of silence. I nearly yelled “yahoo!” but that would have broken the sound of silence. (Lifesaving is the moisture stopping crazy fires here)
That danged sound of silence. Jesus prayed and Buddha prayed in silence. A Native American knows to sit still and hear the silence. Perhaps there is that brief moment I heard Mecca quiet. Seemed like it.
I love music of every genre. And I have great headphones. But silly me I like to put them on with no music. I like the sound of silence. Tell a truth; I got up and did a dance. No music, just silence. Try it, it is really cool.
Sometimes I just go into my bedroom and close it up. No not to sleep but to put silence into me. Silence into me is a strange concept maybe? I do this meditation stuff and silence of the mind is key. If your mind is taking off with wild horses you must silence that. Oh not a fight but a let go of sounds. Very frustrating for the first 50 hours of practice but then issues are like clouds that make no more noise.
I was sailing off the coast of Point Loma once and the wind seemed to make no noise yet was fresh wind upon my face. I suppose it was just me being strange. Perhaps the sound of silence is a choice. But now I can’t really do that in a board room.
This One is Rough
Sometimes Silence is Rough on Us
So I ask if a baby squirming and making a whine for milk is silence. Just what the heck is silence? It would apply to ignorance. I am not hearing you. So is it really a “sound” that breaks our silence or is silence more about the silence within. Definitely a wind blowing and making a whispering sound in trees is silence. But only if we stop and chill out and get calm and just hear the leaves move with a whisper. This is silence. The crazy world in our head needs to be silenced not the sounds of the things around us.
Morning has broken. The sounds start to come alive. The effort is now required to stay silent. And yet effort is the last thing needed, it is surrender that is required. How hard. But we can do it. A dog maybe that is basically silent. Or maybe a sleepy eyed spouse that you should not approach until the sleep from their eyes is cleared. The waking of a child must be followed with silence. Shaking and talking is wrongful. Let them have morning silence.
“Fix it” has so many failings. Listen and be silent. We are silent at a performance of an orchestra. We are silent in court unless asked to speak. We are silent when fishing. We are told to be silent in most prayer, maybe even in a closet. I was taught to be seen but not to be heard as a child. Sounds harsh but it has served me my whole life. Remember to keep your mouth shut and maybe appear ignorant, open it and prove it. Silence is golden.
So many times, gratefully, I have been told to shut up and follow another’s lead. Every time I learned more doing that, than I would have with questions.
I am a trained tracker of game. No longer for a kill. But even in tracking an owl my son knows to be quiet in silence. Here the remnants tell a tale where words are intrusive and not helpful.
A human foot print in the sand tells a tracker much, like size and weight, stride length and the pace along with matters like heavier with one foot than the other and if they walk with their toes instead of their heels and if they prolongate or pronate or other which can make you able to identify the person. When through tracks in the sand you can identify the person, there is no need for less than silence. Yes a simple set of footprints tells a story better than words.
Interesting how that came out. I view words spoken as “less” than silence.
Sad. But A Reminder of Sitting and Listen
Silence of Love Begins Early
I have some health issues. Nothing urgent. But I have to see my General Practitioner regularly for consult and tests. I have an issue that is labeled “wait and watch”. It means it could rise up and bite me on any given week. So I do a hypochondria deal and he keeps his mouth shut, nodding and shaking his head and raising and curling eyebrows. Sometimes he purses his lips and other times he smiles. All to the good in his silence. Then we share a story and laugh. The best doc.
Now the family “other” comes into our wake of life with a scowl and wrinkled brow and a real bad attitude. You get to break your silence to push as to why this is such. But then silence. 80% of the time they do not need nor want your breaking your silence. I am not so sure but one time I wrote “A listening ear is worth a thousand words of advice”.
You should have heard my 9 year old go off last night in our darkened starry night. Off he went for a full thirty minutes about things from school to his sister to if he was smart. So many questions. Wonderful and not one word from me. He was on a roll and it was not and is not my place to interrupt that unless asked to and even that needs to be short and “out of the way”.
Sometimes the best silence is actually the voice. Moderate, almost sing song, and just a good relation of a notion off subject yet on it. Silence does not require no words, quite often it requires a simple quieted mind in the response.
So silence is more often than not that of the lips, but that of the soul and heart and mind. If our racing mind is still like an easy lake with no wind then others can look into our waters and find some comfort there. Perhaps that is part of the parable of walking on water for Peter. When he paid attention to the silence of Jesus he did just fine, when his mind became full of sound, not so good.
My children all heard my voice before birth. Hands on them and songs sang. We do not get to be fully silent. Yet the breaking of that silence must in fact be in a loving silence of our issues. Be still my heart.