When Silence is the Loudest Sound of All
Linking up with Five Minute Friday today! Five minutes of uninterrupted writing...no editing. No overthinking. Just write! Today's word is: SILENCE
"Absolute silence leads to sadness. It is the image of death." Jean-Jacques Rousseau
April 2, 2011 was a Saturday. We were driving home from an overnight youth activity. The perfect youth pastor and his wife.
Our precious pet was staying with dog-sitting strangers and the closer we came to their home, the more concerning was the silence hanging between us. His pursed lips. Determined about something. His jaw set. His eyes impossible to see in the darkness.
As a car passed and threw light upon his face I snuck a peek and saw his cold, unfeeling eyes. Typically soft and brown, tonight they were hard and black.
Not wanting to know the issue, I opted to sit in the silence and imagine the worst. Maybe I had said or done something that he didn't appreciate? Maybe he was still grieving the recent loss of his stepmother. I never imagined that behind this silence was the image of death. The sad and winding path of absolute silence.
Without so much as a glance my way, he suddenly blurted, "We're getting a divorce."
This was not any of the possible worst-case scenarios that had been running through my mind. "What?" I managed to whisper.
As we pulled into the driveway of the dog-sitters we barely knew, I wiped away streams of tears that I hadn't realized were falling into my lap. I was helpless to stop the furious flow as I reached the front door and snatched my dog from the smiling woman's arms. She looked puzzled as I fled down the dark sidewalk and jumped reluctantly into a car carrying a strange man.
We drove home in absolute silence. The sound was deafening.
As our Jesus hung from the cross that fateful day the people mocked him. They spit and shouted and laughed. But at the sixth hour (around mid-day) until three in the afternoon a terrible, brooding darkness overtook the land.
Matthew 27:45, 51-54- Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!"
The curtain was torn.
The earth shook.
The rocks were split.
The tombs were opened.
And they were filled with AWE.
And then they knew. Truly this WAS the Son of God!
Some silence holds hope. Other silence holds death.
Sometimes silence seems to hold death, but it holds new life instead.
It took Jesus three days to raise from that silent grave. Three days to show the world that truly silence doesn't always mean death. Sometimes the most desperate silences are filled with the promise of eternal life and eternal love.