Can we sit with the silence?
What is it like to learn to allow the process that comes with tears and quiet?
For me its like listening to something else besides your voice. While you are still here.
At times the sorrow fills the vacuum of our words with sad sobs that beg for breath. We try to touch instead of talk and that feels like something.
Or, in anger, we bite our tongues, forgoing the option of biting in other more explosive ways.
So we pray, and even then, words degrade and seem worse than silence.
Leaving room in relationships for the important middle place we need to cross through on the way to answers is not intramural friendship – it’s master’s level. So give yourself space to be a newbie.
The first death I remember really upending me was the suicide that stole one of us 3 weeks before graduation. I had no right to my emotions, I thought, because he was not my close friend, but he was a person I had shared life and words with for over a decade, and his circumstance rippled and ripped across our school and our town. I learned at that time that sitting with, with no authorization, excuse, or solution, works a work that nothing else will.
This is a hard question. I don’t want to give a lot of words to the subject of wordless intent. I just want to invite you to enter in, and be with the quiet the next time you have nothing to say. The place of painful growth before hope sprouts is sacred and necessary.
Then walk away as quickly as you need to. The next time, maybe your endurance will have swelled. While you loved in all your other ways.
But those who learn from their suffering,
God delivers from their suffering.
“Oh, Job, don’t you see how God’s wooing you
from the jaws of danger?
How he’s drawing you into wide-open places—
inviting you to feast at a table laden with blessings?
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