Life is noisy. Not so much as in music blasting or people shouting, but more like a buzzing kind of noisy. The phones we clutch in our hands allow us to always be available. They alert us whenever we are needed, liked, and wanted.
This constant connection makes the quiet times really quiet. When I return to my lonely dorm after class, I immediately open my laptop to watch YouTube or listen to music. Sometimes I’ll tweet or put a picture on Instagram if I’m feeling bold. I check my phone over and over, hoping for a new like, comment, or post. Honestly, I don’t even really know what I’m looking for, just something to break the silence.
Silence is empty. Have you ever watched the movie, I Am Legend? I feel like Will Smith, the last man in a deserted city going completely insane.
Often, silence is scary. Like how I would imagine a hamster to feel in one of those plastic balls. Trapped, excluded, and most likely very, very scared as it runs frantically in circles.
But silence is also pressure. It’s like a fog filling the room, pushing out the noise, and suffocating my heart. The weight reminds me that I am missing out. Checking my phone only confirms it because I see smiling people with other smiling people which makes me very aware that I am not smiling with anyone.
When I am in silence I feel alone. But does silence mean you are alone? Does a blank phone screen mean you aren’t liked?
I was going to look up the definition for silence but I accidentally clicked on the thesaurus. The synonyms caught my eye.
calm. peace. quiet. stillness.
Okay, if silence really was calm and peaceful, people wouldn’t try so hard to avoid it. There is something about being in silence that makes us feel empty, scared, pressured, and alone.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. There is a time for everything (ecc 3:1) and sometimes we need to be quiet. Even Jesus was alone:
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35
I love this verse because it reminds me how real Jesus was. If he liked coffee, I think me and Jesus would get along quite well together, being that he gets up so early. But that morning Jesus didn’t meet anyone for coffee, instead he went alone to pray. Friends, if Jesus needed silence, imagine how much we need it.
Being in silence gives God’s voice a chance to break through it.
I think silence is foreign to us because, in a world that is constantly trying to grab our attention, we are accustom to the noise. But if we don’t turn the volume down, we can’t hear God’s sweet whispers. If we keep distracting ourselves with temporary pleasures, we can’t work through our problems. This verse right here is everything:
“When life is heavy and hard to take,
go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear.
Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face.
The “worst” is never the worst.” // Lamentations 3:28-30 (MSG)
I can’t stop my eyes from filling with tears as I read this. Because yes, silence can be scary, empty, and lonely; but it only reminds me how much I NEED Jesus in my life.
And it is then that I realize I am not so alone after all.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3