Monday, October 17, 2011

the communion of silence

I was taking a walk on Saturday afternoon when I came upon a woman walking with a cane. We caught each other's eyes and smiled a greeting to one another. As I was about to pass her, she pointed to deer tracks in the sand and we shared in that blessing together, imagining the deer quietly passing through the forest on this very path. No words were exchanged between us.

One of the benefits of silence is the wide open space it creates to love without division. Had this woman and I engaged in some conversation, we might have discovered some differences between us. Maybe we don't believe the same things. Maybe she is quite different from me in the area of politics. Maybe we have different ideas about how to live. Whatever. It doesn't take many words to create a wall between people, and no matter how flimsy that wall is, it's a shame.

But here in this place, this woman and I loved one another and felt a kinship instantly. We were exactly the same in all the ways that mattered. We both love Jesus and we had come to the forest to listen for his voice. That's all that really matters, isn't it?

I'm not suggesting that we should never talk to one another and sometimes even muck through difficult conversations. But I do think that silence is highly underrated. Maybe if we talked a little less and demonstrated love more often, we would have more blessings to share together. Maybe we would notice the footprints that are just beside us, binding us together.


  1. Sounds like a beautiful experience. I've never been to a hermitage, but love when that kind of thing happens in the day to day...two people find themselves on a common ground and, for the moment, like you said that's all that matters. One soul connecting with another, one heart opening to another. No judging, just a humble being together.

  2. Wow. Just wow. I love what you noticed about silence and how it breaks down the barriers between us and our fellow human. I think I am going to have to link to this post of yours on my Still Forming site today. :)

    I love you. I'm so glad you're you.

  3. cheryl: yes, don't you love it when that happens. it's such a relief to be in that place.

    christianne: wow. it's a huge compliment to have you link to me. thank you.

    lori: hi! :)

  4. damn momma! that one almost made me cry!

  5. danny: i love your tender, sweet heart.