Christain spirituality often describes silence as the daughter of patience and the mother of watchfulness. For when all words are abandoned, a new awareness arrives. Silence awakens us from numbness to the world around us, from our dullness of vision.
Silence is a requirement of life; it is the first duty of love. Silence is a way of waiting, a way of watching, a way of noticing – instead of ignoring – what is going on in our heart and in our world. It is the glue that binds our attitudes and our actions, our belief and our behaviour. Silence reflects our ultimate surrender to God as well as our gradual awakening to new ways of learning and living. When we are silent, we learn by suffering and undergoing, not just by speculating and understanding.
Silence confirms our readiness to lead a counter-cultural way of life, to choose rather than to be led, to admit our limited perspective as possessors and consumers in society, and to appreciate another and gain an unlimited perspective of the spiritual way.
If we take a compass and from a fixed point draw a circle, the centre point is equidistant from any point on the circumference. The circle is the world and God is the centre; the straight lines drawn from the circumference to the centre are the lives of human beings. The closer these are to God, the closer they come to each other; and the closer they come to each other and to the world, the closer they are to God.
The truth is that all things are inseparably interrelated. Nothing living is self-contained; the brokenness of one person or element reflects the fragility of the whole world: ‘If one member suffers, all suffer together with it’ (1Cor. 12: 26). Let us learn from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as we read and mediate on His Word. The Word will enlighten our hearts and mind as scales of ignorance fall from our eyes.