Connecting in the Stillness
Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was. —Job 2:13 (NIV)
My grandfather passed away this morning. I was able to see him a few weeks ago. He was thin and frail—words I never would have associated with the man I knew growing up, a former bodybuilder and gymnast. We sat around a table and ate dinner—Papa, Granny, my girlfriend, and me.
Throughout the meal, Papa kept asking me questions about my job, my church, my life. He wanted to hear the story again of how my girlfriend and I met. But the conversation was strained. He had a difficult time staying alert, and his hearing was poor. Sometimes he would trail off mid sentence. Then he’d apologize.
After the dishes were cleared, my girlfriend sat down beside Papa and held one of his hands and smiled at him. He smiled back. Following her lead, I reached out and held his other hand. We sat like that for a long time. Few words were uttered, but more was communicated in those silent moments than in all the words spoken at dinner.
That night I learned conversation isn’t our only means of communication, either with each other or with God. The deepest communion we can experience takes place in silence.
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