Keep your mouth from being rash, and let not your throat be quick to bring forth speech before God. For God is in heaven and you are on earth; that is why your words should be few.
Why are we so wordy?
I’m saying this to myself, a self professed talker, lover of words, voice, and standing in front of a crowd. One who recognizes that when it comes to worship, God, and relationships most of the time when it comes to talking, less is more.
I recognize that silence can be awkward. We can hear the air conditioning turning on and off, the fluorescent lights buzzing, the kids talking, the adults moving in the pews. Then there is the anxiety that we feel when silence comes when talking to someone, we fill the silence with, ah’s, om’s, you knows, likes, etc.
I’ve been thinking about poets who use few words that carry deep meaning. Few words that are profound, worthy of silence. I wish that our talking to God and each other was like that, intentional, sparse, deep.
Then there are the times when no words are better. Times when gestures are better communicators of the meaning in the actions. At table there are many of these movements. I wonder why most pastors have not taken on these gestures when leading God’s people in Eucharist, Baptism, blessings?
May we recover the practice of silence, attention, and poetry. May we recover the language of the body, of movement, gesture, and sign. May we lean into the awesome presence of God in the still small voice.