About the Author

From the NC Appalachian Mountains, Jodie now loves living in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. After ministering in China for the past 20 years, she is discovering how to drive in America again, how to parent three kids in college, and how to help her two Chinese boys thrive.

Related Resources & Gifts
Find more at DaySpring.com
Related
Resources
& Gifts
Find more at
DaySpring.com
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Yes. So good and such a valid thing, this silence. Help me to seek divine silence in the hurry of each day. To embrace it. To see an opportunity for silence, and live not only in the quiet of it but to bloom in it. To give a gift of permission to be silent to others, not to solve our problems but invite the Holy Spirit to speak into it and give us groanings too deep for words. To delight in those moments.

    I used to take a “silent retreat” every now and again, just to be with God. To listen. Those designated days have integrated into moments of exhale. Living between sighs of hurry and frustration and occasional worry. I think this is a good prompt to seek silence for me. Thanks for sharing, and inspiring.

    • Marina, I love the way you’ve described silence. And a silent retreat sounds really intriguing to me. I’ve never done one, but feel the need to be more intentional about carving out time for quiet in this noisy world we live in.

      • I always bring a friend or two, all of us with the intention of drawing near in silence. Places are quieter during the week… a coastal place, a campground, a scenic lake, a monastery! Bring along your water, bible (paper, not electronic), journal and pen, art supplies if desired, and break out on your own, but stay within visual contact if each other… you want to be safe in these weird days. Designate the amount of time you have, or end at dusk, etc and come back together. If you want more community, discuss the purpose of going on the way there, and what God is showing you, on the way home. Or keep it silent the entire time!! Talk about it another day!

        I met with a friend for 2 years on Monday evenings at the baptismal in our church (it was a perpetual pool…overflowing water) to pray for the nations (and our missionaries). Often I would go early to just “be” with God. The flowing water created a backdrop so peaceful, I could fall asleep!

        I pray that you find the right niche for your intentional quiet. I know He will be honored with your time, and you will be blessed!

  2. Just the word “silence” gives me such a peaceful feeling. To be able to declutter our thought processes in the presence of silence is a gift from God. Thank you for your encouragement.

    • Thanks for your comment Brenda. As I was cleaning out the freezer last week and throwing out food that was long expired I thought about how my mind needs to be decluttered like that. I want God to help me focus on what is most important to Him and get rid of all that doesn’t need to be cluttering up my thoughts.

  3. Jodie,
    Oh how eager we are to fill the silence with noise or chatter. As I’ve gotten older, silence has really become my friend. I work from home and can honestly say I never have the t.v. on. I may listen to praise music but only for a certain period of time. When I’m in my car, I find I like silence. When I go for walks I never take my phone so I can listen to God’s creation call to me. There are whispers in the silence. God never yells over the noise, so I find that the more I am silent, the more I am able to usher in His presence and what He might have to say to me. The same with offering others the gift of our silence. It invites the conversation to be about them….it gives them the courtesy of stepping through the door of sharing first. When my children were teenagers, I found that the more I was around them and kept silent, the more they opened up an talked. Silence says, “I’m here to listen.” I loved your quotes that help us take a different approach to silence and not to see it as an awkward void that we need to always fill up. Beautiful!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  4. This is the second time within a month that I’ve had to prepare a funeral for a family in the church where I serve. I couldn’t settle down and hear what I needed to from the Lord. The noise in my home and the noise in my own life and heart we’re making it difficult to hear. I was desperately waiting on God for the words which would calm my anxioud heart and prayerfully be a source of comfort for this twice bereaved family. Thank you for sharing this article on the silence. It was in the morning when I woke, that the Holy Spirit spoke through the silence and gave me the sermon title and the scripture for this funeral. Thank you for the words of affirmation about the need for silence in our lives.

    • God bless you in your challenging ministry Tracy and may He use both your presence and the words He gives you to bring healing and comfort to those experiencing such great loss.

  5. I appreciate your words of wisdom. Most times, when I find myself in an awkward situation, I try to think of ‘words’ to say, but after reading this, I now realize that I don’t have to ‘fill the void’, but rather I can just be still and silent, allowing the Holy Spirit to do His work. This is actually liberating to know we don’t always have to be saying something!

    • So glad to know that this post resonated with you Charlene. Blessings as you seek and serve with the silence and power of the Holy Spirit.

  6. Jodie,

    This was so beautifully put. Silence is okay! Having someone just there to grief is okay, too. I lost my husband of a fatal heart attack six years ago. For several weeks family and friends dropped with food and comfort. I have a few friends who would walk beside me sometimes talking, sometimes not. While I had some family members who just wouldn’t stop talking. One night, I finally had enough of the chattiness of one family member and had to ask her to leave. I just couldn’t take the constant talk after working all day, at a new job, then, deal with the everything, I needed to do for my family. Later, that evening a friend came by we took a walk, not much was said but tears flowed. It felt, so comforting! I felt so greatful to God and my friend that night!

    • Tricia, I feel your pain and the desire to have others enter into your grief without words. Thank you for sharing as one who has desired to get away from the noise and chatter of others. It really can feel like an added burden to bear!

  7. Jodi,

    Thank you for your post on silence. I find myself craving it lately. It’s not because my world is unusually noisy but being silent does help me to breathe better and focus more intently. Strangely enough the more silent I become the better I can hear.

    I can hear the words spoken and unspoken by others who have something they need to share, I can hear the Spirit’s urging, and I can literally hear myself think and process through life.

  8. well said, Jodie. What you offered was a beautiful picture of companionship and compassion – coming alongside another rather than having the verse or the solution for them. We are best helped and grow not when someone says the “magic” prayer or verse but when we discover the answers within ourselves and the Spirit within us. Thank you for writing these words to share.

  9. This really resonates with me. As a hospice bereavement coordinator I have learned the value of silence. Of just praying silently, and allowing the Holy Spirit to fill the room with His peace as the grief stricken slowly unfold their heart’s pain. I particularly liked your words: “I knew that we also needed to clean up the cluttered places in our hearts, in order to make space for their pain.” This is so very true! I am looking forward to reading more about your experiences in China!! Fascinating.

  10. Jodie, how can I email you? I can’t seem to find a way to contact you privately. I wanted to see if I could use this post on my blog because I write about grief and loss issues.

  11. Thanks for sharing Jodie. Silence is so necessary. We all need to go to our quiet places and enjoy the stillness of His presence – “Be still & know that I am God”

  12. As my brother wrote me once while I was grieving: Jobs friend were better before they opened their mouths.
    You’ve related a beautiful reminder of our role for others as well as how God wants us to shut up and listen, only He’s nicer about it…

    • Sue, that is so true. What a comfort they must have been when they just sat with Job in silence. And if you’ve been in a place of grief I’m sure you’ve experienced both sides of how friends can try to be helpful. Entering into another’s pain without trying to remove it or fix it or rationalize it is a real blessing.

    • Rebecca, Amen. When we rush ahead to try to minister in our own strength/wisdom it becomes about us and not about Him.

  13. I’m one of those people who finds solace in silence. Recently we had to move in with my parents because we needed to treat our house for mold.
    There is NO peace here. My mother is one of those people who HAS to fill up any silence with noise…Very loud noise.
    I have been in, what seems to me, to be a perpetually bad mood. I’m trying so hard to find my inner peace, praying and reading the Bible, but it just doesn’t seem to be sinking in!

    • Beth, praying that you can find creative ways to get the quiet you need while you’re at your parents’. I would feel the same way as you. Constant noise really drains me and silence restores my soul. May God’s still presence and peace be with you even while you’re in a noisy environment.

  14. Jodie, thank you for this — I’m so quick to rush in with words, as if they could solve the problem or heal the hurt. As you said, I’m filling space that could be left free for the Divine Silence and the comfort that comes from peace which passes understanding.

    • Michele, God bless you in your desire to wait on Him in your conversations with those who are hurting. May He use you as a holy instrument to truly extend His presence and peace.

  15. Thank you for using words to remind me that we often need no words. Bill Bright wrote of such a concept as “Spiritual Breathing.” It is a thought and prayer process of letting the breath of the Holy Spirit flow into us and cleanse us from sin on a regular basis. To me this relates to a worship process I am growing into. I listen to a spiritual song. As I do so, thelyrics lead me to move or dance to the Lord. I love dance, music and the Lord. This unites these loves in my worship dance to Him without words from me.

  16. I love silence win the Lord and find that I do not cultivate it as much as I would like. It is one of those spiritual disciplines that perhaps we are not taught about that much. Even as a writer myself I find that I can get caught up in the business of social media and constantly making ‘noise’ in the online world and yet truly what is most important can often be found in the silent moments with the Lord as He grows our souls to know Him.

  17. Jodie, this is a beautiful truth. Decluttering our own hearts to make room for the listening to someone else’s pain. Thank you for this thoughtful well written piece.

  18. Have you not noticed that love is silence? It may be while holding the hand of another, or looking lovingly at a child, or taking in the beauty of an evening. Love has no past or future, and so it is with this extraordinary state of silence.
    – Jiddu Krishnamurti

    • Penny, it takes the pressure off of us, doesn’t it? Inviting silence into our lives can be like taking a deep breath in our souls and experiencing the rest that God gives us there. Trusting Him to show us what to do or say next.

  19. Jodi,

    As I get older and go through tough times I find I love silence. It helps me to think, clear out my mind and heart of any junk. I will admit I enjoy some good Christian music or preaching. It seems lately that I crave silence to quiet myself to think and hear God. Our world is so noisy and everyone is clamoring for a voice. All I want and need now is Jesus and a bit of quiet meditation.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Beth, I hear you. It seems there will always be noise in some form. In China, we had constant noise from the busy street outside our apartment building, and I tried to find ways to get away from it. In Colorado, the environment is much more quiet and peaceful but there’s the noise of social media on my iPhone that I need to make a choice to turn away from. I find myself craving silence and solitude too.

  20. Thank you Jodi. This is so essential yet I often tend to want to fill spaces with talk. Thank you for the call to look to do more by simply allowing space for silence.

    • Spring, Thanks for sharing. It is simple, but also challenging, to allow space for silence. Blessings to you in your journey.

  21. Oh Jodie – thank you for penning such a beautiful and wise reminder….GOD has been teaching me to wait on Him. Learning to listen in those places of silence and solitude invites GOD to speak to my heart. When I draw near to Him – it is a healing balm. Sometimes He is silent. Sometimes He creates images in my mind, and other times He dispenses wisdom with words. This divine touch of our Jehovah Raphe refreshes and recreates so that we can share the comfort we have been given.

    • Barbara, thanks so much for commenting and sharing your experiences with silence and healing and wisdom and refreshment and comfort. So blessed by your words and by your life!