The Beauty of Silence

A few years ago, we took a trip to Hawaii. As usual, Travis researched activities we could enjoy while we were there. One of the things he found was a discount coupon for parasailing. If you know Travis, you know he can sniff out a bargain from a hundred miles away. When he told me what he'd found, I resisted. I'm afraid of heights. The thought made me a little sick. "The rest of us will do it and if you don't want to, you don't have to," he assured me.

I stood on the deck of the cruiseship the morning of our excursion and I watched the parasailers and wondered if I could do it. I wanted to. I wanted to share that experience with my family. As I looked across the gorgeous water at the colorful sails that seemed suspended in the blue sky, I decided I'd do it. No matter how afraid I was, I'd do it.

Travis and Joe went first followed by Bruce and Veronica. Savannah and I were last. My legs were shaky and I had trouble breathing as the guide buckled us in. He tried to say something to me but I couldn't hear him. The boat engine was roaring and my heart was pounding in my ears. Too soon the boat was moving in front of us and we were climbing into the air. Soon the boat looked like a toy in the distance. The water sparkled beneath us. The sky was a more beautiful blue than I could ever remember seeing.

And it was quiet. I thought I'd hear the sail flapping in the wind. I thought I'd hear the boat engine. I didn't. It was silent and peaceful and lovely. I didn't feel afraid. I was sad when our turn was over and they began to shorten the line and the boat got closer.

Today I gathered with extended family to visit with my uncle who was diagnosed with cancer this week. He told of the first night he found out and the fear he felt. He'd wake up in his hospital room and feel a sense of panic and fear about what was coming. He worried about his family and whether or not he could face the hard things ahead.

In a moment of prayerful silence came peace. Along with that peace came the words to a hymn... Sweet is the peace the gospel brings. He felt calm and strong and even healthy. The peace that came in that silent moment of prayer will help get him through whatever lies ahead.

In those silent times we can think. Ideas can form. Feelings can be considered. Problems can be contemplated. Prayers can be answered.

I love sound--music, movies, laughter. I love talking with people I care about.

But sometimes, the most beautiful thing in the world is silence


Tawnie said...

BEAUTIFUL post. I love it. And I am reading it right in the midst of my 6 children playing a game with their dad. It's loud and fun and joyful and little John is complaining like crazy. Funny thing is the only NOISE I can hear is the complaining. We are trying to get lil John to understand this.
I completely agree. The most beautiful thing in the world sometimes is silence.
John and I parasailed together on our honeymoon. It was a great experience.

We are looking forward to visiting with Uncle David.
Lots of love.

Leslie said...

nice posting.

prayers for uncle david.

Alison said...

Profound and perfectly stated.
Thats all I have to I'll go enjoy some silence...
Thanks Karey.