Several weeks ago when our family wasn’t going to be able to attend the Christian discipleship group that we normally attend every Sunday morning, Darwin and I responded to something different that God had placed on our heart: a morning of complete silence. We sat down with our four kids the night before, explaining how the next morning we would all be in total silence until noon, when lunch would be served and the silence would be broken. Each person could go wherever they wanted to within the limits of our property – in the hammock, under the shade of a tree, in their own bedroom, anywhere – in order to spend a personal time completely focused on God. Each person could spend time reading the Bible, praying, or meditating, and the only guidelines were that each person would maintain absolute silence and would focus the morning hours only on God. As Darwin and I explained this, the kids reactions were fused with intrigue. Our home is typically filled with little voices humming about, chattering non-stop about 108 different things, so Darwin and I naturally wondered if they would truly be able to maintain silence for such an extended period of time, but we trusted God’s voice within us and knew He would be faithful in what He led us to do.
The next morning we each got up when we were fully rested, and each person began what would be several hours of focused silence. As I left my room in the early morning to go to the kitchen, Jason greeted me, as he always does, and I responded with a smile and a “shh” gesture with my pointer finger over my mouth, reminding him that we were to be in total silence.
Darwin went on a solitude hike to spend time in contemplation, and I returned to our room to read Paul’s first and second letters to the early Corinthian church. After my encounter with Jason I neither saw nor heard a single other soul all morning. I thought the children must have left because no one knocked on our bedroom door or appeared suddenly in our windowsill for a friendly greeting!
We all came together at lunchtime as planned, and looking visibly refreshed and at peace, we each brought to the table our experiences with the Lord that morning. Gleny, our nine-year-old, explained in detail how she read Proverbs 31 about the exemplary woman (a bedtime favorite for the girls), and she realized for the first time that work is a blessing that the Lord gives us. Gleny noted this with a tinge of excitement, explaining how the woman in Proverbs 31 was a very hard-worker, and how through her dignified work she was able to provide for her family. Gleny then explained that she used to complain about having to work and do her chores (which is true), but that now that she understands that work is biblical and a blessing, she looks at it as a privilege instead of a burden. Darwin and I watched our little girl — this little girl who stains her clothes playing outside, just recently learned how to read and write, and loves Disney princess movies — with a sense of awe, thankful that we were obedient to God’s call to implement a morning of silence and amazed at what He did in her heart after just a couple hours completely absorbed in His presence.
Each person’s experiences during the morning of silence were unique, and that day we sat around our long wooden dining table discussing what we learned, read, and prayed that morning. It was as though the Lord was breathing new life into each one of us.
We have since had the morning of silence two more times, each time with unique and personal results. That time of set-aside silence unto the Lord is becoming a cornerstone for our family, and I challenge you to try the morning of silence with your own family, roommates, or friends and share your experiences via a comment on the blog post.