Let my soul wait in silence

Jan 29, 2016 by

Maya Angelou Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Maya Angelou

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

I love Maya Angelou, the great poet and author because like me, she had a love of words – no, not just written words, by which she made her living, but words that are full of life and vigor, which pulse with passionate feeling.


In her autobiography she writes, “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning.” I believe this is true, and this is why I’m not fond of email or text messages. To some degree, a scribbled note is far better because you can occasionally tell if it was written with gentleness or scrawled in anger. But words which are merely typed on a screen lose their nuance and subtly which the human voice provides, becoming utilitarian tools rather than things of beauty.
Well, as much as I love words, I crave silence at times. I ache for a space in which words, spoken or written, are set aside and in their place is an opening for God. But when I try to be silent, I become aware of the dull, drone of noise which crowds out God’s heavenly whispers. Sometimes the sound comes from a blaring radio and other times, more often actually, it comes from within. My laundry list of “coulda, shoulda, woulda” block pretty much everything else and in frustration, distract me from God.
I’ve see this tendency in worship, where people often seems uncomfortable if the pace is deliberately slowed to allow time for silent space and thought. Several times I have tried a silence exercise with children and teens, challenging them to be silent for just one minute. Almost without fail, giggles will erupt well before 60 seconds have passed.
Simply being present in the moment and listening for GOD is hard work; it takes a deliberate, concentrated effort to simply be still and wait on the LORD. Yes, my soul may desire to wait in silence, but my mind is consumed far too much with this world and its many demands.
Today I am thankful for Angelou’s words of wisdom. Tomorrow I’ll try again to leave my words behind and, as the psalmist says, to let my soul wait in silence for the One who meets me there, and thankfully, gives me strength for the journey.