01/11/2023 by Rev. Doug Walker 0 Comments
Silence is not Golden
As seen in the HEARTbeat and the Village Voice
“Silence Is Not Golden”
Is there ever such a thing or a time as total silence? By that I mean an environment without any auditory stimuli. When we want to escape the hustle and bustle of the world, we seek a place of serenity, a place of silence. This is our happy place, our golden spot. This place is free from the news, from the sounds of the city (cars, buses, etc), and a place where we can find peace and quiet. Peace I would agree with, but silence?
I would challenge you to find a place far from anyone else in the woods. Stand there for a second and bask in the peace. But even in a place such as this, there is no silence. Squirrels scamper through the leaves in search of food stores. Birds chirp their songs, and even the beating of their wings breaks the silence. Even the wind blowing through the treetops creates a special sound. There may be serenity, but there is no silence.
Finding a place with silence is challenging. In recent years I found a place called a float spa. This relaxation place provides what is called a pod, a large egg-like structure that opens to reveal 11 inch deep, high salinity water. It is so infused Epsom salt, a 7 foot, 300 pound person can float in it. When the lid is closed, there is no light (no visual stimuli), no touch stimuli as the water is the exact temperature of the skin, and no sound (no auditory stimuli). It can be eerie at first, but once you relax it can be a unique experience. Even in this environment, you might think this is the ultimate in silence, but I can tell you no. You begin to hear your ears ring louder than ever, you can hear your heartbeat, and the sounds of your mind grow louder and louder. And about now you may be wondering if a silent place exists.
Sometimes we need to be “un-silent.” And I would propose there is peace during these un-silent moments. There are times when we need to respond in voice and action to find peace! As Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin and the High Priest, Caiaphas, He remained silent. Jesus did not respond to the lies of heresy and blasphemy being hurled at Him. They had finally convicted Jesus on trumped-up charges. But they did not have the power to condemn someone to death. That was reserved for the Roman appointees. Pilate was awakened and approached Jesus. Jesus remained quiet until truth was spoken: “Are you the King of the Jews,” he asked. Jesus finally speaks and responds, “You have said so.”
There are so many times in our society where people try to shout others down. They try to silence any voice in opposition to their own. Since they can yell louder, they think the opposition’s silence is a signal of weakness.
I urge you, speak truth to truth. Don’t respond to lies with anything but the truth. And when their words speak truth, you can respond as Jesus did, “You have said so!” No, silence is not golden, and not Godly!