What do you hear in the silence?

Their independent living apartment was at the back of the property. A birdhouse stood in their bit of backyard divided from empty fields by a chain link fence. It was usually quiet enough to hear the flutter of the bird’s wings as they arranged moss in their nest. In the afternoon, the silence was split by military planes flying back to their Naval base.

In contrast, our neatly kept green backyard is noisy with the sounds of traffic from the 4 lanes on the other side of our privacy fence.

Our office sits on a busy street where road construction never seems to end and sirens blare past on a regular basis.

Is there a store or restaurant anywhere that doesn’t play music constantly? It seems we can’t escape an unwanted soundtrack for our daily life.

I was raised in a house where the t.v. supplied background noise. It was always on. Even if no one was watching it.

It seems to provide a comforting white noise for some. Or maybe it’s just a way to protect ourselves from a silence that asks us to listen.

God-given gifts

 

The inside of my in-law’s apartment was as quiet as the outside. She would sit in the silence as her fingers worked the intricate cross-stitch designs. The tick of the kitchen clock seemed to be magnified by the silence. I don’t know how she could stand it. TICK – TICK – TICK – TICK….

Her Bible and devotionals were stacked nearby. I’m sure the words she’d read earlier in the day were the sounds she played in her mind as she worked in the quiet. She chose the sounds of truth over the noise of the world.

I’ve learned to appreciate the quiet more. To turn off the noises and open myself to what the heart needs to hear. I have a long way to go, but it seems to start with the sounds of silence.

What do you hear in the silence?

LInking up with Kate Motaung for Five-Minute Friday.

15 Comments

  1. “The sounds of truth over the noise of the world.” Yes and amen! Thank you for this!

    November 10, 2017
    Reply
  2. Annie Rim said:

    I long for silence…. But, as you know, it’s just not where we’re at as a family. Frank was raised with the constant noise of the TV + more siblings so he’s not as sensitive to my need for breathe and silence. Intentionally turning off the sounds has helped give me just a tiny bit more of that quiet.

    November 10, 2017
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    • Debby Hudson said:

      I’m more comfortable with it than I used to be Annie. Henry does call my side the “Loud family” 😉

      November 10, 2017
      Reply
  3. Excellent. Are you mad at me? You haven’t been to my house to play in a long time!!!

    November 10, 2017
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    • Debby Hudson said:

      Susan, you always know how to make me smile 🙂

      November 10, 2017
      Reply
  4. Lesley said:

    It is so easy to be constantly surrounded by noise that we do need to be intentional about turning it off. I definitely feel the benefit of it when I do- I think we often do need that quiet to be able to hear God’s still, small voice properly.

    November 10, 2017
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    • Debby Hudson said:

      And to be more selective (when we can) of the sounds we hear, Lesley. I know like me, God speaks to you through music too. It’s always a balancing act.

      November 10, 2017
      Reply
  5. it’s nice to see you again debbie:) i loved hearing your story of your in-laws. what a beautiful contrast between the usual stories of people focused on Jesus and living in quiet and the person living in noise. i used to like having a lot going on around me, but not anymore! i need peace, quiet and time to focus as I age. have a wonderful weekend:)

    November 10, 2017
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    • Debby Hudson said:

      Hi Martha. My in-laws were special people. I find myself needing more quiet too. It’s good to be comfortable with that. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      November 10, 2017
      Reply
  6. Interesting question, Debby, what do you hear in the silence?

    When I worked as a long rifleman for an organization I won’t name, I learned that silence was a harbinger of danger. In the bush, there are all kinds of animal sounds, but when they stop, it means that there are men around, moving. I’ve never hunted; I’ve been the quarry, and it’s not fun.

    Similar thing in a built-up area. When the normal street and domestic noises stop, something bad is about to happen. Generally, to you.

    November 11, 2017
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    • Debby Hudson said:

      After I wrote this I thought about when our children were small. Quiet meant you needed to check on them because someone was probably up to something. Very similar to what you describe in that one tiny detail. It’s an interesting paradox. Thanks for sharing that Andrew.

      November 11, 2017
      Reply
  7. Tara said:

    I’ve come to appreciate quiet more too. I’m in the 9 spot this week.

    November 11, 2017
    Reply
  8. Alicia Elkins said:

    She chose the sounds of truth over the noise of the world… SO GOOD. Wow. Love this.

    FMF #21 <3

    November 14, 2017
    Reply
    • Debby Hudson said:

      Thank you, Alicia. And thanks for stopping by.

      November 15, 2017
      Reply

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