I would like to discuss briefly something that is so necessary to our spiritual, emotional, and psychological health, but which has been virtually obliterated in the current culture in which we live. I call it Healing through a New Language. We need to reclaim this essential part of our lives, because God made us to incorporate this beautiful language into our lives.
“Be still and confess that I am God!” (Psalm 46:11)
Often we first need to pass through darkness and adversity, in other words, the Cross, in order to be healed wherein we are prepared for a new, higher language. Jesus wishes to teach each of you this completely new language. In one minute flat you will be fluent. You will only need to practice it daily and to ask with confidence for God’s help to perfect it.
As a matter of fact, I need only mention the name of this new language and you will immediately recognize it and become fluent. It is the language par excellence that Jesus Himself most often speaks. It is the most profound, brilliant, humble, yet simple language of all time. It only takes only a little effort and discipline to speak and understand it. It is the most intimate language. It is the language of lovers. Nothing else compares.
It is impossible for this language to be written or pragmatically spoken. It is practical to utilize this language at any time and place. It is the kind of language that only close friends can speak to each other. It cannot be spoken to a stranger. It is best spoken when madly in love. It emanates from the deepest part of the soul. It is not spoken with the mouth, but only with the spirit. This language is not heard by the ears; yet one word can express everything. It is the very language that Jesus is speaking to you now. Can you hear Him?
Do you want to learn and practice this language? It is called silence. Yes, silence. It is the language of total self-giving; it is the language of agape love. This language is the language of union with God, of true peace.
Jesus implores us:
“You must come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while” (Mark 6:31, JB).
He also says:
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you. Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid” (John 14:26–27, JB).
The deep language of silence consists in presence to the other. What is most paramount in presence is not verbally spoken words, rather empathetically and lovingly accompanying the other. In keeping presence with God we are touched by Him. In keeping presence with another person we touch him or her, and we are touched in return, though there is nothing essentially physical about this touch. There is a unity, a oneness.
Have you ever experienced how consoling is the empathetic touch of another, particularly when we are suffering in some way? In silence, we may not physically feel the touch of God, but we experience it nonetheless in a much more profound manner in the superior part of our soul.
Notice how only the closest family members and friends are comfortable in keeping silence with one another. When we are not secure in the other we feel compelled to speak as we tend to become very uncomfortable with silence. However, with those we are closest to we are comfortable, content, and at peace in silence. When we spend time with Jesus in silence, we are touched by Him, and we touch and console Him, even become one with Him.
Everything moves so fast today. There is an overwhelming amount of noise, information, technology, phones, computers, television, activities, speed, and haste. These can desensitize the mind and spirit. When we overdo it with noise and activity we lose our spiritual edge, our transcendent capacity; our ability to pray and contemplate is lessened.
Yes we need to deal with many of these things of the world, but it needs to be in a balanced way. Technology is meant to serve us, not the other way around. We are not to be slaves of things. We are not made to be constantly busy and stressed to the max. Try incorporating some silence and rest into your life.
“Then the LORD said: Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD;* the LORD will pass by. There was a strong and violent wind rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD—but the LORD was not in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake—but the LORD was not in the earthquake; after the earthquake, fire—but the LORD was not in the fire; after the fire, a light silent sound.
When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, Why are you here, Elijah?” (I Kings 19, NABRE)
Yes, God was in a light silent sound. How can a sound be silent? Well, spend some time in silence with God and you will find out that He will be heard to say very much to you in silence. And you will find peace.
Let’s take advantage of the healing Jesus wants to pour out upon us in spending some time with Him each day in the language of silence. He will listen to us, and we will learn to listen to Him; we will be healed in a thousand ways.
James M. Littleton
President, Co-founder & Co-director of Forming Faithful Families
*Core material borrowed from my book Healed Through Cancer and Other Adversities.
Copyright 2015 James M. Littleton & Forming Faithful Families