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Mission Statement: Quiet Spirit writes for those who seek a closer relationship with God.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Thoughts on Silence RJD #8

“Be still and know I am God” Psalm 46:10

Journal Entry from 2/19/1997

For the next seven days, meditation time will be on silence. Disciplines for the Inner Life has several excerpts from writers on silence.

Dietrich Bonheoffer, in Life Together, speaks of silence as a friend. “We practice silence before we hear the Word because we are directed to the Word (in preparation)*. We are silent after hearing the Word because the word is still speaking to us (in reflection)*.”

Bonhoeffer is in the same view when he speaks of our days. “We are silent at the beginning of each day because God should have the first word. . .” (This is hard to practice but it needs to be done,)*  . . . we are silent at the end of the day before going to sleep because the lat word belongs to God. (I believe this applies to a lot more than each day.)

My thoughts on this are just recently muddled; I have to interrupt my meditation on silence, (the written part)* but I can be silent while I prepare myself to go out with my husband and file taxes.

“Silence is the very presence of God—always there. But activity hides it. We need to leave activity long enough to discover the presence—then we can return to activity with it.” (M. Basil Pennington)

The longer I live for God, the more I appreciate the silence. God can speak only when we intently listen. I can identify with the above quote. Lord, please continue to allow me to enjoy the silence and thereby to be able to experience your presence in my daily life. My life has been topsy-turvy this week but You have been there for me and I appreciate knowing You were with me.

I had to tell a relative something that could have seemed mean but I had to tell her these things out of love. My friend Shirley calls it “speaking the truth in love.” My relative seemed to listen; I do know that we didn’t go into a shouting match.


“Unfortunately, in seeing ourselves as we truly are, not all we see is beautiful and attractive. This is undoubtedly part of the reason we flee silence. We do not want to be confronted with our hypocrisy and phoniness. We see how false and fragile the false self we project is. We have to go through this painful experience to come to our true self.” M. Basil Pennington

God is the only one who knows the real me. He made me, knit me together in that secret place (Psalm 139:13-15) He knows the REAL me. I have had to come to grips with who I am, with what I like and what I wish to do.

When we try to project ‘an image’ of who we think we are, we—in a sense—betray God’s working in His creation and ultimately we betray God Himself. God doesn’t like false things because He is Truth.

We, as His children need to learn to communicate this truth to those we encounter in our lives.


Silence—in order to listen better we need to practice silence. In order to reflect on events we are to implement silence. In order to maintain contact with or hear God we are to practice the art of silence.

Last summer, our church went through a very hard time; a couple’s marital problems spilled over into the church. All we heard was one-sided—from one of the two parties, the other party chose to maintain control of emotions and practiced silence. My heart still thinks of the silence practicing one as the stronger one.

Monks take vows of poverty, chastity, and sometimes even silence. I always understood the former two vows. It was not exactly clear to me why they took a vow of silence until today. They were silent because they deeply desired to hear God and his leading for their daily lives.
Update: I still try to practice the discipline of silence. I didn’t realize it but I try to observe silence when I rise and just before I retire for the evening.

* the thoughts in parentheses are my thoughts.

Linked to:http://beneaththesurface-dawn.blogspot.com/2012/05/random-journal-day-link-up-8.html 


  1. I love the sounds of silence...time without distractions and noise is the only real way I can focus on God and what He is trying to say to me. I like your idea of starting the day with silence when you rise and ending the day the same way. I am going to try to deliberately do that in earnest. It will be challenging...but I believe it will be rewarding. Thank you for these thoughts today.

    1. Pam: Thank you for your thoughts. I have to do it deliberately. Right now, we have a few windows open and the first thing I hear is birdsong. I enjoy the sound. I'm glad my thoughts resonated with you.

  2. What a lovely and thought provoking post. I am so proud of you - look at your journal pictures- those are yours, right? ANd you are doing well with the link! We are a great team, yes? I really appreciate silence and seek it out often. Things like riding with no music or radio on; when I am home I also keep nothing on in the background. There is enough noise in our heads to overcome, why add more? We must strive to hear Him and I really believe there is way to much noise distraction in our overstimulated world! Thanks for linking Cecelia! Wonderful sharing.

    1. Dawn: I have to confess, these are not my journals. I haven't taken the time to get mine in a presentable order but I will put that on my 'to do' list. The silence is something a person has to make friends with. We live in town. My husband grew up in a farming community that still has a lot of fields. One time we parked by a stream and got out. As I closed the door, the sound filled the air like a huge balloon being popped. That area was that quiet.


I would be honored to hear what you think about this.