Faculty Reflections: A Time To Be Silent

“There is a time to be silent.”

My daughter has been asking me these few days, “Mommy, why are you so quiet?” I was not on a silent retreat or deliberately chose not talking to my daughter. I have been fighting a bad flu virus for the last week and lost my voice on Sunday. As a result, I had to cancel all my meetings in the last couple of days and communicated by writing and whispering.

These few days, a few words kept flowing in my mind, “there is a time to be silent.” At our prayer time today, one colleague prayed that God worked in mysterious way even with the temporarily losing of my voice – it opens up meeting time space for me to work on things that need to get done for senate next week. I could not agreed more with her point.

My faculty colleagues joked with me that they can say whatever they want because I cannot talk back. I think there is a lot to learn about what it means by “there is a time to be silent,” particularly with people like us who are in a profession that “requires” us to say quite a bit when we teach, when we preach, when we offer spiritual counsel and pastoral care, etc. People expect us to give verbal direction, verbal comfort, verbal guidance, verbal instruction, etc. Can we really do our job and do it well without the most essential tool we have? It is a challenge to rely on the One who is the Giver of that tool and to listen more intently and slow down our response, to concentrate on what can be or needs to be done without unnecessary words, and to observe God’s mysterious way of working in our lives even when we lose the tools which we feel absolutely essential to get our job done.

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