Silent Letters

Must your every thought and word be heard? I’m afraid my generation and the generations growing up behind me think so. We share everything—on Facebook, on Twitter, in our blogs, through Instagrams. And then we wait for a reaction—for the likes, comments, and all the pretty little stats that tell us we are good, we are heard. It’s a drug, an addiction—a hit that sends endorphins flooding through our brains, lighting up the part of us thirsting for attention and affirmation.

And we find the silence becomes deafening because we just can’t live without the noise, the reaction, the endorphins flooding in and telling us we are heard, we are good.

And we lose the beauty of silence, the sacredness of solitude.

Sometimes our souls need to be alone.

Sometimes we can only begin to hear in the hush.

Sometimes words need to be written but not read.

Sometimes beauty needs to be seen but not captured or shared.

Sometimes we just need to live quietly in a moment or we will lose ourselves in the noise.

My soul needs some silent letters—words written but not shared. Letters penciled into my journal for the soul, not for the reaction. Letters tapped out on my typewriter slowly, carefully with the heavy stoke of each letter hammered in ink to paper—just for me.

Letters and words good and valuable…and ever so quiet….quiet enough to be heard by the soul.

Because not everything I am must be known. Not everything I say must be heard.

My soul needs silence. Solitude. Words written and not read.

Otherwise I will drown and lose myself in the noise.

hampton-beach-2011-121Can your soul find silence? Can you walk away from the noise?

33 thoughts on “Silent Letters

  1. Lovely post, thank you. In the silence we can hear our thoughts and if we listen to the still long enough we can hear the Voice that gives us peace, security, direction and wisdom. In silence we can communicate with our Lord and hear what He is saying beneath the noise. DAF

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  2. This is going on my blog Facebook page. Heard a young friend say she was so engrossed in Facebook that she was “thinking in posts” instead of living real life. Wow, it’s time to shut down and shut off.
    As a photographer I can get so caught up in “having” to capture every moment. But some are meant to be just enjoyed. I think I’ll do a pictureless post some time. Oops, I think I just gave away the title!
    Great post!

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  3. Yes. Yes. This resonates in deep places. I am reminded of Matthew 6:6…going into our secret place and inviting the Father to come…letting His Spirit speak to us and listen…beautiful, holy communion in silence. May you find time this weekend to “come away” with Jesus. Blessings in Him!

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  4. Loved this post, Kari Ann! I think so many fear the silence, because it is in it that we have to face ourselves or hear the voice of God. We live on Tampa Bat (the small upper part), and I love to sit on our dock at night at sunset or early in the morning to just listen. The water, the fish jumping, or late bird calling out. Doing that kind of anchors me to sanity each day.

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    • Thanks, Barry. The silence can be scary like you said. It’s scary too that we are forgetting how to even be quiet but it’s so important to step back and be still sometimes. Nature is such an anchor for me too…the rolling ocean, the woods…there is nothing I enjoy more.

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  5. We talked about this kind of thing in Bible study this week. I really don’t update Facebook and Twitter all that much. But there is that “Why hasn’t anyone ‘Liked’ me yet…it’s been 5 whole seconds” mental dance when I do.

    And, as a statistics/data junkie, don’t get me started on my blog’s “Stats” page.

    I’ve had to make a deal with myself to get off the computer after a certain point and go read a book or do…something. There a big difference between talking about your life and actually living it.

    I really enjoy blogging as an incentive to go out and create stories. I just have to be careful to not let the blog become the story.

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    • Wow, I love that—“I just have to be careful to not let the blog become the story.” So true but so easy to forget too. I’ve started reading a lot more this year…actually I’ve already read more in the first 3 weeks of this year than I did all last year…and as a result I’ve spent less time watching TV and messing around on the internet. But I still have a long way to go when it comes to creating quiet in my life.

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  6. So beautifully said, Kari. I’m always trying to get my kids to ‘unplug’ for an evening or day here and there just so they learn to appreciate silence (and interacting with ‘real’ people around them).

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  7. Very true indeed! I love writing and have a Facebook that I update regularly, but sometimes I just want silence to write in a journal. Maybe that’s why I miss France so much. I wasn’t very connected with the internet world while I was there for a few weeks and spent so many pleasant afternoons lost in the thoughts and pondering of my own mind in the peace writing in a journal. Great post! 🙂

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    • I know, I think of the last vacation I went on when I didn’t have internet access or a cell phone and life was so slow and quiet. I realize I need to build that kind of silence into my life even when I’m not on vacation.

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  8. Very well said! … and it’s not just your generation that has that problem with looking for validation! : ) This is one reason I love walking with my dog on the trails! Just me, my dog … and the Lord. I can think, meditate, recite poems, scripture, pray, or even sing out loud!

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  9. here is a quote from Elisabeth Elliot (who I am friends w on facebook of course!):
    “The great of the Earth are those who leave silence and solitude around them, their work and their life, and let it ripen of its own accord.”

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    • Who knew you were friends with Elisabeth Elliot! :] My mom shared that same quote with me today…must be be a sign. Her words are so beautiful and true…I’m going to write them down and remind myself of that when I start to get swept away by social media. Thanks for sharing with me!

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  10. One of the greatest joys of country living for me was the solitude. I learned so much just quietly working in my flower garden..about God, about life, about beauty and the pure pleasure of a quiet, peaceful time.

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    • I agree. So much of who I am came from the way I grew up. I miss the silence and all the open space. I am sure my soul will be quieter and healthier when we settle in the country. I need room to breathe, silence to pray, read, think. I want a garden and the woods and the cold dirt beneath my feet. Someday. But until then I have to create silence in my busy life and city home. Thanks for raising me in the country, mom :]

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