Appreciating the gift of silence

How do you view silence? Do you avoid it like the plague?

It sits uncomfortably for many.

Our world spins noisily with continual sound available to us 24/7.

It is rare to hear nothing at all beyond earth’s natural circadian rhythms, sentient creatures going about their days and our own heart hammering out its lifeblood.

Although we don’t have to escape to a desert island to enjoy the riches of stillness and silence because it can be developed inwardly.

There is something to be said for pressing the mute button on life's noise sometimes Click To Tweet

As I’ve been leaning more toward the contemplative Christian pathway in recent months, I’ve come to appreciate the way silence speaks to us if we let it.

And to sit with the discomfort as thoughts whirl dervish-like through my head.

To sift out what should be paid attention to and what can wait.

To heed Holy Spirit whispers in the stillness of my soul.

To learn to lean into the self-knowledge that is silence’s gift to us.

Prayer is a place where we can speak or remain silent with attentive listening Click To Tweet

When we stop long enough to listen to our lives and listen to God, we may find that He is always speaking; His voice is never silent.

God was there from our conception and sees us beyond the grave.

Such things affected how I wrote my five-minute post today:

Sitting with silence..

We begin with silence.

Cradled in the warmth.

Entombed in our mother’s

watery womb where sound seems

muffled down to a heartbeat.

Two mingled together, made

a trinity by God’s presence.


Flesh, soul and spirit

combine in silent

union, a tripartite

community of love.


We wait with silence.

Comforted, content

to stretch our limbs

toward the Light

of our dawning birth

and entry into noisy

welcome of earth.


And then silence

ceases to be our friend

because it signals some

degree of separation.

Loneliness reigns in

its dark embrace.

silence as gift WoJ

But if we let it,

silence can become

a place of wisdom

and instruction as we

listen hard for God’s voice

and rest in His warm

waters of soothing grace.


silence waters WoJ

Friends, this poem (day 24 of write-31-days and five-minute-free-writes) marks the beginning of a period of slowing down a little here as I too lean into the gift of silence rather than the heavy spill of words. I’ll also be seeking to have deeper, listening, soul resting time with God.

Therefore my voice will not appear here with quite the same regularity of late, so your inbox can breathe easy again! Although I hope to offer a couple more posts in this series before signing off briefly for some necessary down-time.

18 thoughts on “Appreciating the gift of silence”

  1. Joy, I love this post. I can only take noise & chatter for so long. Then I feel like I am on sensory overload & so look forward to the blessing of silence. This here > “But if we let it, silence can become a place of wisdom and instruction as we listen hard for God’s voice and rest in His warm waters of soothing grace.” So grateful we were neighbors this morning :)Blessings!

    1. Joanne, you are a woman after my own heart in terms of only being able to tolerate “noise and chatter for so long.” Sensory overload soon tends to make us feel overwhelmed and longing for some needful peace and quiet. I’m grateful you were helped by those words and blessed by your visit. Bless you, friend.

  2. As I read your words about time in the womb, I thought of a baby hearing the heart beat of his mother, being wrapped in her presence. In silence we may sense the presence of God more clearly. Good thoughts!

    1. Carol, that image was exactly what I hoped to convey. We are wrapped in silence in the womb, apart from hearing our mother’s heartbeat and that of our own rapidly answering pulse. And it seems to be that silence also enables us to hear more clearly from God and sense His comforting presence. Thank you for adding your insights to the conversation here. I appreciate you stopping by!

  3. As I read this, Joy, it’s a comfort to know God is with us from conception to past the grave. May we together “rest in the warm waters of His soothing grace.” I love that thought! As you slow down, may your rest be peaceful and Spirit-filled and your body replenished. Hugs!

    1. Yes, Trudy, it is a huge reassurance to be reminded of just how intimately God knows us from conception and beyond. We are no surprise to Him. May you also find rest in those “soothing waters of grace” as they wrap warmly around you, my friend. Blessings and hugs! 🙂

  4. I actually require silence to recharge but I’m noticing with all the technology use, my mind struggles now to settle down! And the moments I do seek silence are fewer and lack quality. Yet I know God speaks softly and I must find my way back to the silence and stillness. Thank you for this powerful reminder!

    1. Carrie, you hit upon a key concept here. Technology can so overstimulate our senses that our minds fail to switch off fully, or at least struggle to settle and relax. I hope and pray you will have time and opportunity to find your way “back to the silence and stillness” in the days ahead. It’s vital for our well-being to be able to withdraw for a while and recharge in every way. Bless you, friend.

    1. Thank you, June. I’m glad you can relate to the need for silence and quiet spaces in your days. When we find silence becomes our friend it is easier to make time to be still and know that He is God, to wait on Him in prayer and listen attentively to His voice. Blessings and prayers to you too, my friend, especially as you wind down your wonderful 31 day series and seek some soul refreshment in the Lord.

  5. Silence can feel lonely but I love how you end the poem with these words.. But if we let it,

    silence can become

    a place of wisdom

    and instruction as we

    listen hard for God’s voice

    and rest in His warm

    waters of soothing grace.

    Very soothing for me today. Sunday blessings to you!

    1. Thank you, Mary. May you be soothed and refreshed as you take time out to be restored in your soul. Sunday blessings to you too, lovely friend!

  6. Dear Joy, this piece speaks to me in a wonderful whisper of wisdom! As somebody who needs solitude and silence to recharge my batteries, I live near a lady who is tortured by loneliness if she isn’t constantly connecting with sound and chatter. Good to contemplate the balance and mutual care for each other of introverts and extroverts, the healing word and the gift of silence. Thank you for sharing XXX

    1. Dear Joyce, the recharging of our batteries is a vital necessity when we have M.E, isn’t it? Solitude and silence play a huge part in making that goal more achievable. Yet, as you so rightly say, we also have to take into consideration the needs of others who require sound and chatter, plenty of connection and interaction to help them feel more alert and alive. And in seeking our own oasis of quiet it’s good “to contemplate the balance and mutual care for each other” because it helps us all to live side by side in greater harmony. Thank you for adding your own wise insights here. Bless you. Xox

  7. Dear Joy, Thank you for these wise words. I appreciate the gift of your voice, and pray that your time of slowing down and becoming quieter will nurture you. Grace and peace to you, April

    1. Dear April, I know how much you appreciate the value of taking sacred pauses in our days in which to sense the divine Presence. Silence so often gifts us with the ability to hear better as we try to listen to what God is saying to us. I’ve needed this period to take a pause from greater outward busyness, and I hope it leads to more inward stillness. Thank you so much for your kind words here; I really appreciate you taking time to leave a comment. Bless you.

  8. This was for me today, I think, Joy.
    It feels as if my life is full of unrelenting noise and finding a way to be quiet is hard. November has arrived and reminded me that this time last year I was so excited and determined to write my novel, the blog was going really well, it had been a great 2014 and I was full of hope and anticipation for all that the new year had to bring. I am in a very different place this year, and yet I am trying to get into a new routine of thanksgiving, I am starting to miss the writing (just a little bit) and I want to be back close to my Father. I need to find some space to sit as you describe and hear His voice. I’ve been listening to the static of a stressful life for too long.
    Thank you, dear friend. xxx

    1. Helen, you’re in a season where family needs are high and there is little time to pause and ponder. I’m not surprised to hear how hard it is to find the quiet you require to be calm, especially when this year hasn’t unfolded as anticipated. But I firmly believe (by experience) that God is in the busy as well as the still. He inhabits every corner of our lives. Jesus sits with us in the dust and ashes as well as the rare mountain top places. And He smiles tenderly at His child, knowing the deep longing of her heart in the midst of challenging circumstances, seeing the stressfulness of your situation. As you begin to slowly withdraw from “listening to the static of a stressful life” you will be able to melt into the warmth of God’s loving embrace. Each minute offered up to Him is a beautiful thing in God’s eyes. In time you will be able to offer more. He’s got you covered, my friend, and I’ll be covering you in prayer as well. Blessings of peace and rest to you, dear one. Xox

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