“The preacher pulls the little cord that turns on the lectern light and deals out his note cards like a riverboat gambler. The stakes have never been higher. Two minutes from now he may have lost his listeners completely to their own thoughts, but at this minute he has them in the palm of his hand. The silence in the shabby church is deafening because everybody is listening to it.”
Frederick Buechner, originally published in Telling the Truth, “Out of Silence,” Buechner Quote of the Day, October 24, 2017
Frederick Buechner reminds us of the silence before a sermon. This so well also applies to the silence before talking with a spiritual friend or praying, or visiting someone who is sick. Sitting or standing in silence before we begin is a way to pause to honor the moment. It is an ever so brief experiment in living in the precious present. It is a point in time to observe leaving the rest of the world behind and honoring the sacredness of the relationship. The silence is a way to make connection, to make eye contact, and sanctify the time together. Silence is like the blowing of the Jewish Shofar on special occasions or the recitation of the Islamic Adhan by the muszzin from the minaret of the mosque, or the singing of the Christian Doxology, or an Episcopal, “The Lord be with you.”
Some have described silence as the language of God.
This silence is one last desperate call to the Holy Spirit to be present.