Silence. Waiting. Slow to speak. Quick to listen..er..make that read.
Jim, my husband is on voice rest. Complete voice rest. No talking, No humming, No clearing the throat. No nothing!
We laughed at first and had fun kidding around with the robotic sounding app on the iPad. He bought steno pads. Hand motions and facial expressions were not the best way to communicate. Because more often than not, the wrong thing, the wrong idea, the wrong opinion, the wrong emotion was assumed, the wrong need.
I have learned more about communication than in any conversation, from any teaching or sermon or seminar or book. Living with someone who is very limited in communication, who is my best friend and my life companion had taught me much.
Assumptions don’t work. His facial expressions are confusing to me without any accompanying words. Hand motions and often body language are misread. Waiting for him to write his words out makes me think mine through.
Slow to speak…
It is not funny anymore. It is tiresome. It is frustrating. It is peaceful. It is lonely.
Silent companionship is not our way. We have used all kinds of words over the years. Yes, we do enjoy quiet times on the porch, in our bedroom chairs as we read or write. No words spoken by one of us is a challenge. Then there is the underlying fear, yes, fear of what if?? I don’t acknowledge that so much but when I do I recall scriptures and rely on the truth of God and His character. The fear recedes.
As he was writing about his day after he came home, I wondered if this was a reflection of how it might have been for Israel when they did not hear from God for centuries.
There was no communication so they had to remember what they knew and rely on priests to fill in the gaps. The years past and surely many wondered if there really was a living God.
Sometimes I find myself filling in gaps that are not there. Assuming that I know exactly what he will write, what idea or concept or information he will be conveying. I make things up. My mind and I have a heyday. I take over when there is no need. I give orders that are not agreed on. I take over because there is a vacuum of communication.
Is that what they did? When studying the last books of the Old Testament I discovered scholars thought the rise of rule and the Pharisees were to avoid the loss of the Law again. T0 protect the Israelites from forgetting, from stepping into idolatry. That sounds plausible.
Now I wonder if it really was because though the Law had been found it was almost like a dead document with other the Living God speaking through it Himself. The silence must have been so frightening! The not knowing. The mourning of loss of relationship because He was not talking. Was He even still concerned? Was He still there?
So they made things up. Like me, filling in the blanks for family and friends. Like when Love Princess would “translate” for others when we lived overseas and not come close to the actual meaning. Filling in the vacuum. Hating the silence.
It is not easy to go to church. Speaking for him is not easy. I just don’t want that responsibility. And answering well-meaning questions can be a strain. He finds it surprising how many people think he is deaf and talk louder. Humorous.
Jim will be okay. He still communicates with his family and others.
God did not communicate with His people, His chosen people for 400 years!
Until the fullness of time. Then He sent His Son, the Living Word. God had lots to say.
Not all listened. Not all heard. Not all understood. Still, He spoke and continues to speak today.
Glory! He is not silent.
I just need to listen well and wait while He is communicating.
Understanding Him, knowing Him deeper. Sweet.