A new town designed primarily for deaf and hard-of-hearing residents is planned for Sioux Falls in South Dakota. It will have all the usual amenities: hotels, a convention centre, and churches. Streets, shops and public buildings will all be designed to eliminate any disadvantage caused by deafness. Speech and sound will be kept to a minimum and sign language will be the preferred way to communicate. A comparatively silent environment may well appeal, and not only to the hard of hearing.
Silence is what epitomised the atmosphere of Calvary once the crowds had dispersed and the now lifeless bodies on the crosses were left to hang there. But the sight of the one on the central cross spoke volumes. The signs were there for those who could read them of love generously and courageously offered and violently and bitterly rejected. The battered and tormented body proclaimed loudly the brutality of which human beings are capable and the willingness of God to be on its receiving end. It’s not surprising that central image has become the symbol of God’s self-giving care for all people.
Today silence is a fitting reaction to such love. But there are other kinds of response. One is to demonstrate that same selflessness in the way we love and, silently but in a way that can say so much, to make our lives signs of generosity and self-giving love.
Read: There was silence in heaven for about half an hour. (Revelation 8.1)
Rejoice: in actions which speak louder than words.
Reflect…. or rather, today simply look: at your image of Christ on the cross without thinking about it.
Remember: When God’s silent, it doesn’t mean he’s absent.
Resolve: to value, without always trying to fill, moments of silence.