Sounds of Silence

I attended a movie today with my daughter as part of the annual Milwaukee Film Festival. It was entitled Moonlight Sonata. This documentary told the story of a boy who was born deaf but with the aid of cochlear implants was able to hear. He was also a very accomplished pianist, thus the connection to Beethoven and his Moonlight Sonata, which he composed as he was losing his hearing.

The interesting part of the movie for me was that when given the option, often the young boy would purposely remove the device from his head that allowed him to hear because he came alive in his silence. It was in the silence he found his voice. It was in the silence he found freedom and his greatest creativity.

Think of how many words we hear and utter in the course of a day. How full our heads are with useless information. (Especially if you spend any time with three to five year olds.)

Every day we have the choice to fill our heads with the noises of the world or turn it off and enter the silence.  A silence waiting for us.  A silence where our greatest source of creativity exists. Where true freedom lies. Where our true selves lie. And where God is present whispering His truth.

And I don’t mean cloistering ourselves in a room isolated from life. I mean choosing throughout the course of the day to take minute “vacations” from the noise and just listen. Even if all you hear is a quiet din, let it be.

The boy in the movie had a set of grandparents who were deaf from birth and didn’t receive implants until much later in life, and when they could hear better, they commented that it really wasn’t all that meaningful to them. The words they had missed all those years didn’t keep them from experiencing what really mattered in life.

There are many ways to express ourselves other than through words and often those ways are much more powerful and leave a lasting impression. A tender touch or a smile goes a long way.

Not to mention the trouble we can get into with our words. So better to limit them anyway.

That goes for written words too.


Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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