For the past three days, my voice has been becoming more weak and more hoarse, my breathing made labored, and the amount of times I’ve coughed and had to clear my throat have increased at parallel rates. I did some quick self-diagnosing and found that I was most likely developing laryngitis. Further confirming this diagnosis, I woke up just before midnight today, and found that I could no longer speak at all. My thoughts frantically searched for a way to communicate with the friend whose house I had woken up at. There was no paper, no pens, my phone was dead and I do not know sign language beyond the alphabet.
I came to a rest in a chair by the bedroom window. Hours passed as I sat and watched in a calm stillness as the rays of the early morning sun began slowly filling the room. I thought to myself of the deaf and the mute, romanticizing the idea of never being able to speak again. I began to think of the series we’re currently covering at Sunday School; It’s on the value and the impact of words. For months, I have become more and more agitated by the sheer vanity of the things that proceed from my heart to my mouth, so this series is timely and fitting for me. It seemed like a natural conclusion to come to that I would take a vow of silence in this time, and perhaps it is a cheap sacrifice with my current condition aiding the choice, but it is a matter I feel strongly about pursuing nonetheless.
I noted that if I was serious, I needed to think about what it was that I wanted to gain out of this. It came pretty quickly to me that I wanted to reinstate an awareness of my words and the impact they have on others; I often offend people without intending to, due to a lack of premeditation, and frankly, out of carelessness. I also have a tendency to speak out of anger, sadness, or jealousy and in the same breath, wishing I could take back all the damaging words I’ve said. Even more frustrating is that I’ve found a way to cause harm to others when acting out of joy, too, by speaking faith and encouragement into areas of their lives where I didn’t have any business poking my ruddy fingers into. Obviously, I need to learn to take more time thinking about my responses, before releasing them out into the world. Ultimately, I want the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart to be pleasing to the Lord.
Thirdly and lastly, another desired outcome I conjured up out of my subconscious was that I wanted to hear G-d in stillness. I have heard Him in noise, in the voices of others, and in music. I have seen Him in the Word, in a sunset or a circumstance, but very rarely, if ever, have I heard Him or known Him by and/or in silence. I often sing that song, “In the secret, in the quiet place, in the stillness, You are there,” and have felt His presence in the song, but not genuinely related to the words. I am excited to see the ways G-d will move in my silence. I am excited to be reminded that He knows my heart and therefore hears the prayers of my heart, even when I choose not to place them into words – a simple truth that I so often forget.
My progress and any unexpected outcomes will surely be noted, as I will probably be documenting any change or progress through this blog, manipulating it as a journal of sorts… for the time being, anyways.
Scriptural References: Psalm 91:1, Psalm 37:7, Luke 6:45, Matthew 12:34, Psalm 19:14, Psalm 44:21, Proverbs 15:1, so on, so forth.