The sound of silence is a melody, I would suggest, that we, as a society, are unfamiliar with. At the very least, it is a melody we are uncomfortable with. Silence, it seems, is an experience that, for the most part, our present-day culture seeks to avoid with dogged determination. Rather than evoking a sense of calm and peace, it almost feels like silence denotes loneliness or agitation; or maybe even desolation.
We are rarely able to find rest in quiet and stillness. On the contrary, instead of rest, quietude commonly brings anxiety; or perhaps even, fear.
And because we cannot find rest in silence, we avoid it at all cost.
We love our televisions.
And our radios.
And our playlists.
In this present-day culture, noise pollution has become the backdrop of our daily existence; within our homes, in our cars, even when we are in nature. We are unaccustomed to the sound of silence. We are threatened by the very prospect of it.
Or, maybe it’s not the sound of silence that we are threatened by.
Maybe what we are threatened by, are the things we hear in the silence…..
.....the voices that we hear in the silence.
Voices telling us that we are lacking; that we are not enough.
Voices telling us that we don’t measure up.
Voices telling us that we are nothing; that we are bad; that we will never be worthy of love.
Those voices we hear are demeaning, and volatile, and depressing. They intimidate us. They attack our value and diminish our worth. And even though the ideas they speak are lies, they embed themselves into our thoughts and into our beliefs and unwittingly, we allow them to define us. In an attempt to block the voices that threaten our undoing, we have immersed ourselves in habitual noise as a distraction.
But in the process, we have also blocked out the voice of the Lord.
In the process, we have drowned the voice of Truth.
Maybe though, we’ve done that purposely. Because, while His voice is soft, and sweet, and tender; and so full of love,
He calls us to a place of surrender;
a place of repentance;
a place of conviction;
and we do not like conviction.
Conviction feels too much like guilt. Conviction feels too much like condemnation. And we are already over-burdened with the weight of the lies of our self-condemnation.
And condemnation of our peers.
And condemnation from the deep.
But that is what happens when we separate ourselves from God.
In the very beginning, when God created the world in which we live,
He created mankind to live in relationship with Him.
But we decided that what He created us to be
- a reflection of Him -
was a hindrance to us.
We decided that we could do a better job of defining our own identity,
so we turned our backs on the One in Whose image we were created,
and set out to find our identity apart from Him.
That decision was disobedience.
That pursuit, was, and is, sin.
And that sin has separated us from God.
While we thought that separating ourselves from living within God’s decree
would allow us to discover who we really are;
while we thought that turning our eyes from God would lead to ultimate freedom,
all it led to,
And whether we realize it or not,
our separation from God has left us devoid of the truth of who we really are.
It has left us with an all-consuming hunger for identity
that cannot be satisfied with anything but Him.
We’ve tried to satiate that hunger with materialism,
and with busyness,
and even in doing good deeds,
but none of those things can fill the ache within us.
He made us in His image,
and the void we created when we turned our backs on Him,
can, and will, only be filled by Him.
That aching void is becoming increasingly persistent.
It is calling out to us,
louder and louder,
and in silence,
that void has become almost deafening.
It is no wonder we choose distraction over silence.
But Jesus is calling us.
And that aching void we feel is our inherent response to His calling.
While He does not come with condemnation, nor does He come speaking lies;
and while His voice speaks only truth; and only in love;
make no mistake,
He will bring conviction.
And it may hurt. Actually, it should hurt. Coming face to face with the gravity of our sin that began when mankind, when you and I, turned our backs on God, should grieve us down to the core of our souls. But when we come face to face with our sin,
when we acknowledge it,
and confess it,
and repent of it,
well, then Jesus Christ can wash us in His perfect forgiveness and we can once again live in relationship with Him.
He will restore us unto Himself.
And we will find freedom in having our identity defined by Him.
We will find rest;
and comfort in His enfolding love.
He will replace the lies of unworthiness that the false voices spoke to us, with the truth of who we are.
The sound of silence will no longer bring fear.
It will bring instead, the knowledge of Whose we are;