Tag Archive: silence



As i have been looking at some aspects of a person’s life that i see as defining them as being a person of good character, the last two posts i did focused on Living out the Words you Speak and Speaking out the Words you LiveI see both of those as powerful indicators of the character you have as a person and both areas that are good to focus on or invite the accountability of others into if you are trying to become a better person.

But a third related aspect comes to mind when it comes to speaking, and that is being able to realise the times and moments when you shouldn’t. Sometimes offering someone the gift of silence can be the very best thing you can do.


Sometimes all that people need is your presence, to know that you showed up and are there for them and if they need to talk and get something off their chest or if they need to share their emotions [be it grief or anger or confusion or despair] that you are there to give them the opportunity to do just that. You aren’t going to challenge or rebuke or give answers or make light of whatever it is they are going through, but you are going to be a someone who cares enough to be around.

i do think, however, that this is not a blanket rule and so it requires a certain amount of wisdom and often a large amount of relationship. Because some people really do want the words in some of the same situations and so this requires a certain amount of knowing to be able to pick the moments when you should speak and when you should listen and also when you should just be.


I used this quote with the last piece in terms of advising us when we need to speak what we live. But they apply equally well here. Sometimes you will take a moment to taste the words you are about to spit out and realise that they taste bitter or foul and so to be a person of good character in that moment is to hold them back, or swallow them and keep the bad taste to yourself.

Sometimes someone realises that they are jerk and don’t need yet another person confirming it to them.

Sometimes someone is painfully aware they have made a mistake and does not need your enthusiastic announcing of the fact.

Sometimes, just keep them to yourself.

Proverbs 18.21 21 The tongue has the power of life and death and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Or ye olde, ‘If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.’ [which doesn’t necessarily apply always, because sometimes we do need to speak out against injustice and cruelty and more, but it is a good default go-to setting for those times when we are not sure].

A last point to consider is that we live in a world of noise and activity and instant gratification and speed. I believe it can be so helpful and healing for a person to be able to step away from that for a moment, for an hour, for a day or even longer, and embrace the silence. To not need the noise/activity/connection. To be able to switch off and unplug and step away and be still and know and meditate and remember and consider and dream…

Let Silence be something you carry around with you, and bring out when necessary and helpful, both for yourself and for others. 



[For the next post in this series looking at Character, focusing on saying and being “Sorry!” click here]

silent god

i sit in silence.
and wait…
be still.
i am still.
and know that I am God

i sit in silence.
and wait.
i am still.
i am still waiting.
as i sit i become aware of my breath
of the tick tick tick tick tick of the wall clock
outside sounds. a car. a mother calling for her child. an alarm.
or is it a siren?

back to the room.
and my sitting.
and silence.
stillness and silence.
i appreciate the sound these words make as i repeat them once more silently in my head.
stillness and silence.
i say them internally one more time with over-exaggerated enunciation.

In the beginning there was nothing.
Nothing but God.
And silence? There must have been silence..
And stillness. Stillness and silence.
Is. Anyone. Out. There?
I know there are people out there.
Because I hear them.
Occasionally I glance the flash of a person hurrying past the window through the corner of my eye.

funny that.
i am…
still waiting.
i am still waiting. in silence.
He is.
You are.
You are I Am.
Aren’t You?
The beginning and the end.
Did i miss the end?
Did it maybe happen back then, a few moments ago when i dozed off for perhaps a minute or two?

or an hour.
could it have been an hour?
sure felt that way.
sure feels that way.
these times.
this… time.
the time is ticking.
just as that clock is ticking.
as a reminder that time moves on.
as. must. i…

yet still no answer.
is there anybody out there?
is there anyone to pick up the line on the other side?
say something.
say anything.
please say any thing.

i refocus
clear my mind
and settle back in
to my sitting
and my silence

what next? leaving the old people outside for the coyotes to finish them off…?

sounds far fetched maybe, but i have just been thoroughly revolted by what i have just read [and i know in this day and age we can get mildly upset and tut tutty and each-to-their-own-device but maybe it’s time for people to stand up and SHOUT WILDLY AGAINST THIS KIND OF FILTH…] and we need to draw a line…

it started with me reading my good buddy Bruce’s rant [totally justified and i agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed] or question [but i know the rant is simmering beneath] about the question of whether there should be a filter on what we tweet, which you can take a look at here:


well actually, to be honest, it began a little earlier with this blog i wrote after my encounter with two horrible t-shirts and then the recent one i wrote about young people using the word “rape” to describe a bad sporting or examination encounter

but then i went on to yahoo and happened to catch site of the heading of this article where firstly a guy passes out and everyone is too busy tweeting and facebook statusing to go and help him, and later ends with people taking phone pics of a guy as he dies on the street…


as a society we are becoming sicker and sicker and what is the worst part is that it is becoming the norm, it is becoming acceptable – we have legalised abortion (baby-killing) and made divorce easier than getting a visa to fly overseas and our government seems to have an anything goes policy when it comes to government officials being involved in corruption/mismanagement of funds and so on…

where does it all end?

i’ll tell you where it ends. with the church!

will the real Christ followers please stand up? because this is where the call to be holy, to be set apart, to be different is at its most vital…

Engage the young guys who are wearing those shirts. Refuse to let someone get away with a statement of how they were “raped by that exam” without being challenged to never again use that word (and sentence) lightly. Leave your flippin phone in your pocket and go and get up on that stage and see if that man is okay. Shout, scream, make a noise – IT IS NOT OKAY – THIS IS NOT ACCEPTIBLE – I WILL NOT STAND FOR THAT.

Cos there HAS to be a line. And we need to speak and act and react in absolute love and compassion and know when and where and how to speak and act. [and the Holy Spirit will guide us in this area, if we pay attention] But we cannot stay silent any longer!

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