A while back I was in my office with a client and his older brother. There was a check that was written to the client, but my firm was included as a payee. The process is that the client endorses the check, it is deposited into the firm’s account, and a check for the client’s proceeds minus the firms fees is written from the firm’s account.
The client’s brother, a forceful, entrepreneurial type of man or had experienced some success, insisted that the check be written over to the client. The promise was that the client would return with the firms proceeds once the check was cashed. Of course, that would leave the firm with no assurances and I insisted that we follow the procedure as previously outlined.
My resolve was that the check would sit there unsigned or it would be endorsed and deposited into the firm’s account. I didn’t need to proffer a speech or engage in debate. Once my position was stated and my heart was resolved, I sat silently. The silence brings the moment that has weight. The volume of the silence was either agitating or comfortable, dependant on the security and resolve of a particular individual. The check was endorsed over to the firm.
As we seek depth in our lives, we are all too often simply not very good at the silence. We almost always want to fill it with something. Music, explanation, transition or whatever to avoid the weight of the moment where nothing is apparently happening.
Psalms 37:7: Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him . . .
Isaiah 30:15: in quietness and trust is your strength . . .
1 Kings 19:11-12: The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
All too often, we ruin it. We want to fill it with an attempt to regain control and move toward completion of our agenda. Allowing the power of the moment to fulfill its purpose is a difficult discipline. For all the stuff we do as we seek, the greatest reward is in the gentle whisper which echos in the silence.