Befriending Silence

Christ Church Episcopal in South Pittsburg, TN Photo by Katie Rea

Speech is silver, silence is golden.”


“What on earth are you searching for?”

A close family member asked this question of me and, I have to admit, the question took me by surprise. I didn’t realize I was searching for something.

I guess it’s a personality trait. The Enneagram test shows me as a two, part of The Helpers, and I am ready to act. I am an achiever, a researcher, someone who is constantly striving, learning and growing. I am always asking questions and seeking answers. I communicate and advise. Many people tell me I overthink and over-analyze. I am a “do-er.” I am ever searching.

I forget it’s okay sometimes to just “be.” In fact, it is essential to wrap yourself within the comforting blanket of silence and allow yourself to just do nothing. I don’t even have to check mark it on my to-do list. I just sit in silent contemplation and just be with God. No conversation necessary. Nothing I have to do or achieve.

It can be quite difficult. Within a span of five minutes, I may start to squirm, or perhaps that “to-do” list pops back in my head of all that I need to accomplish within my day. Sometimes, I feel silly. There’s a million things I need to do. Why am I just sitting here?

That’s why it is often called the art of silence. In many cases, it is something we have to learn rather than something we do naturally. For me, it is something I must practice.

Silence can be threatening, especially if someone uses it against you in anger, often known as stonewalling or giving someone the silent treatment. Silence can be intimidating. If you are suffering the loss of someone you love, the silence in your household or in your heart could be deafening. There are awkward silences in conversations and in times of loneliness and suffering, we don’t want the quiet.

Yet, I have found silence can also be a gift and a friend who reminds you how special you are to the creator of the universe. Silence can give clarity to a cluttered mind and be a gift to a neglected soul. It allows your body to rest, ruminate and just to be. It can give you the freedom to breathe deeply and think of ways in which you are blessed. Answers you were struggling to find may meet you within the quiet. The answers were within you all along, you just had to be still long enough for them to offer themselves to you. You were so busy, you forgot to listen. I know I now often crave the peace which silence can bring.

Use this time of silence to spend time with God. Just to be with Him/Her. A loving relationship has companionable silence.

I encourage you to befriend silence and allow her to become a constant companion to your life.

Be still, and know that I am God.

Psalm 46:10

More information:

The Value of Silence.

5 minute meditation.

Beginner’s Body Scan Meditation.

Silent Retreats.

Or just set a timer for an allotted amount of time and just practice silence.

Enneagram Personality tests.

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