Still Saturday: The Helplessness of Silence

One reason we can hardly bear to remain silent

is that it makes us feel so helpless.

We are so accustomed to relying upon words

to manage and control others.

If we are silent who will take control?

God will take control;

but we will never let Him take control

until we trust Him.

Silence is intimately related to trust.

~Richard Foster, “The Discipline of Silence” in Celebration of Discipline.

Welcome to Still Saturday where we pause after a busy week, move in quiet pilgrimage, maybe linger a while in some still place, and soak in the beauty of images and words. We’d love for you to join us. Get the details above, grab your favorite button, and link up below. We all love to hear if something especially speaks to your heart, but please don’t feel pressured to comment. Simply take some time to gaze long and drink deep.



    • Sandra says

      This is very good.

      Foster also says, “There is an old proverb to the effect that ‘the man who opens his mouth, closes his eyes! The purpose of silence and solitude is to be able to see and hear.”

      I know that to be true.

  1. says

    Your photo reminds me of one of Monet’s paintings as he plays with light. Soft. Beautiful. Gently moving. Drawing me to dream, imagine, wonder. I love silence, stillness, peace. It’s where I can hear myself think, feel God move, filling me, drawing me, where I can feel the beat of His heart. Where the world fades away and I can breathe.
    Cindee Snider Re recently posted..In the Still

    • Sandra says

      I love it, too, Cindee. And find myself more and more drawn away from noise. I go about my day in as much silence as possible (except when there’s a Tigers game), seldom turn the radio on in the car on a long trip, and even find myself pulling away from loud praise music. I prefer a more contemplative mood.

    • Sandra says

      I’d never thought of silence being associated with helplessness, either, Carol. But isn’t it true that some people struggle to be alone with their own thoughts, His thoughts? I know folks (my parents included) who have TV on 24/7–and when my mom was alive TWO TVs on different stations, loud–because they can’t handle the stillness. I think there is that sense of giving up control, giving over to Him, of trust.

    • Sandra says

      Good stuff to ponder, Lyli. I’ve had this one and Freedom from Simplicity forever.

  2. says

    Sandra–As I think of the silence, I realize that there is more than one kind. There is verbal silence, relief from spoken words, and I am pretty good at that kind, but there is also written silence, relief from the drive to write everything down, to hold conversations through paper and pen. That silence evades me often.
    JoAnne Potter recently posted..Shut Up, For Christ’s Sake!

      • Sandra says

        And I suppose that could also mean from reading as well. To. Just. Sit. Why to we so often feel like to just sit is wasting time?

  3. says

    I love this quote, this is one of my favorite books, I refer often to it through the years.
    Wishing you a little bit of silence this year to allow room for the Divine to speak.
    Gayle recently posted..sit in silence

    • Sandra says

      Thank you, Laurie. And be still and know–that’s where I’d like us all to linger a while. :)

  4. says

    I’m learning to weigh the power of silence (coupled with prayer) with the power of words. To offer up in prayer whether it is a time to speak or a time to hush, I think, has allowed Him to come in and be the bigger presence.
    Jen recently doesn’t matter how small

    • Sandra says

      Oh, yes. And in the simplicity of words. Such power in a few. Thank you for this.

      • Sandra says

        Foster also says this, “Discipline yourself so that your words are few and full. Become known as a person who has something to say when you speak.”

        Then he goes on to say, “Go another step. Try to live one entire day without words at all. Do it not as a law but as an experiment. Note your feelings of helplessness and excessive dependence upon words to communicate. Try to find new ways to relate to others that are not dependent upon words. Enjoy, savor the day. Learn from it.”

  5. says

    How beautiful Sandy – all of it, words and picture (it really does look like an oil painting). I think I must read this book.
    Have a lovely weekend Sandy.
    Linda recently posted..Evil

    • Sandra says

      Yes, you should slip it into your towering stack. I wonder how he would reword things today, now 30-plus years later. But maybe not. Maybe that’s why it’s now a classic. :)