silence

We went to the Blue Mountains this weekend for a delighful engagement party. It’s the journey that I found interesting though. We didn’t talk much, but it felt profoundly reinvigorating to share quiet time together. I want to reflect on shared silence…

One of the first (and possibly best) compliments I ever gave to Chris was how easy it was to share silence together. I think that the better you know someone and the more confident you are in their presence, the easier it is to share silence. With an acquaintance I find silence feels awkward and so I try to fill the space with conversation. I don’t think I’m the only one — I’ve just read this advice from a Community Services Training Course I’ve been working through on how attentive silence is a strategy for effective communication when dealing with clients:

We are generally uncomfortable with silence. Commonly, after a few moments’ pause in a conversation, many of us start asking questions, make comments or even give advice. This can create a problem for the speaker who may use the silence to think about something in more detail. During periods of silence the listener also has an opportunity to focus on the speaker’s non-verbal communication and to think about what they are communicating.

These two events have made me reflect — I don’t think I spend enough time with God in silence.

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