Truly, wait quietly for God, O my soul, for my hope comes from Him. (62:6)
Pure silence can be a beautiful thing, although there are various qualities of silence. There is the awkward silence of two people who don’t know each other well and are fumbling for ways to make conversation. There is the uncomfortable silence of walking into a room full of people you don’t know and watching as conversation stops and all heads turn your way. There is the painful silence of encountering someone who is angry with you and isn’t speaking to you. There is the comfortable silence of taking a walk with someone you know well; you can walk together and enjoy the walking and the silence. There is the inviting silence of a good teacher who offers a questions for discussion and waits until someone is ready to offer a contribution. There is the warm silence of a room full of people in silent prayer or meditation together.
Sitting in silence is a practice. Having the patience to wait does not come naturally. We fidget, we look around for something to do, something to distract us from the silence. Some perceive silence as lonely. To this, I offer – you are never truly alone. You are with yourself, and you are with God. If being alone makes you uncomfortable, ask yourself what is it about you that makes it hard for you to be alone with yourself? That’s not to say that one should seek to be alone as much as possible as a primary activity. I only offer that the times that you are alone can be times when you can most clearly hear the voice of God providing direction in your life. Are you alone too much? Pay attention to the Divine voice and embrace the silence. Then seek out a community that can support you in traveling the road that your inner voice tells you to walk along.