By G. P. Avants
“In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”
“There are moments that can change a person forever,” Bilbo Baggins whispered to himself. Before him a sea of forest of called Mirkwood, rippled with a bracing breeze and a flock of butterflies. He was no longer the same hobbit when he left home months before. Sometimes we experience times in our lives when words can’t truly express what our heart is feeling. Or maybe quiet is the appropriate response when words can spoil a moment’s uniqueness.
Okay, compared to most guys I tend to be a chatty Kathy. Maybe I have ideas or opinions bouncing around in my head that long to be formed into spoken words. It could also be a desire to connect with another person or to fill the awkward silence that fills the empty spaces surrounding us. So, for many years I had often built conversions with useless facts, rambling thoughts, and sadly, sack loads of self-promoting syllables. It sounds terrible to think that I might have abused words that may have been saved for more important occasions.
Then I learned about the beauty of silence and enjoying moments that words can’t describe. I thank my wife for teaching me how to relish the quiet drive, the turn of a page, or sitting scratching a patient pet’s head. Did you know that most people’s communication is 10% verbal and 90% non-verbal? I have to catch myself crossing my arms while in a conversation. That is body language for “stay away, I need my space.” It’s easy to say one thing and express the real meaning with our actions. How do I use the majority of my communication that don’t need to come from my mouth?
Over the past few years I have learned to be comfortable with not being the center of a conversation. It’s nice to sit back and listen to what others are talking about. I don’t always have to throw in my two cents. (I am learning to let those words accrue and bank for later.) Writing has been a better outlet for the plethora of ideas filling up my restless brain. Taking in a moment for its sheer enjoyment is another use of communication. I think of a drive we once took up the coast of California. We sat in silence and took in those seaside vistas of the highway. When I have one of those days at work I pull put that moment and remind myself that God is in control.
Can I also share some pictures that don’t needs words to express their importance? These are from our recent trip to Arches National Park.
There are times when there isn’t a lot of conversation in our home. It still bugs the verbalizer in me. Yet, my wife appreciates me sitting with her with a foot rub without any reason why but to say silently, I love you. This could also apply to doing the dishes, vacuuming, or washing the car without a word.
Talkers I challenge you to work on that other 90% of your communication to others. Give that hug, do those dishes (without the mumbling or grumbling) or let a smile let a stranger know they aren’t alone on the world.
Do you have silent moments that don’t need words to declare its specialness? Drop a picture and share it with us.