Understanding and Silence


I am not sure any of my rambling thoughts in this post will make sense to anyone. I have written them over a course of more than a week as they surfaced. I realize too I may be repeating myself from previous posts, but writing is my way of processing what I am learning and this is heavy on my mind as of late.

Can any of us ever truly be made whole this side of heaven? Of course none of us will be whole physically. But emotionally? Spiritually? I don’t believe we will be.

I wonder, though, if there isn’t something to be found in the silence of waiting.

I’ve learned the hard way this past year that remaining silent is a gift. That simply listening and understanding is usually best. Preston wrote so beautifully of this in his posts ‘understanding’ and ‘on being whole’ that these thoughts on silence resurfaced.

Preston is right when he says “I need you to understand that desiring to understand is the most gracious and beautiful and sacred gift you could ever give to another person.”

 Might I dare add that understanding in silence is also part of that sacred gift?

We cannot make anyone whole or complete and the inner turmoil they battle usually begs only for understanding. Nothing more.

Why then do we often feel the need to fix situations? Our emotions become frustrated when we aren’t able to make circumstances better for those we love.

I’ve written a good bit about silence and the silence in ordinary time recently. Last year I felt God teaching me through everything. I heard Him. Felt Him. In conversations. In my prayers. Not audibly, but in every book, scripture, conversation, song. He was there. But in the past few months I feel like I struggle to hear what He is teaching me. My spirit has been restless to hear Him, to feel Him near. I know He is with me. I do not question that as I might have in the past.

Now I begin to wonder if God also gives us His silence as a gift? If He teaches us through the silence? Was He not silent as Christ was on the cross and in his death? Did He not seem silent to the psalmist in times of lament?

Why then do we struggle when peace in our own situations cannot be found? Perhaps God gives us these seasons of restlessness. Stretches of time where the anxiety almost cripples us. This does not mean we are doubting our faith. Could He be using His silence to strengthen us? To cause us to seek Him even more desperately?

I believe this is especially so for those gifted/cursed with seeing the world in shades of gray. Those of us who feel the liminal space between the seen and unseen. Those of us who need to create in some way. To know our creator through art. Who always feel as if we are never complete. Those always searching, questioning and never being able to completely find perfect solace in not knowing.

We have peace and trust in His promises, but our souls are never completely quite at rest.

As Christ followers we know we can only be made complete in Christ. The something others try to fill yet never grasp we have. But will we ever truly attain wholeness or feel complete spiritually and emotionally in this world? I’m not sure. Yet more and more I’m seeing this and the times of silence as a gift. A gift urging us to seek Him even more…because He is still with us and He will not remain silent forever.


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