Are you prepared to be silent on occasion

February 24, 2015 | 14 comments


This quote reminds me of Jesus stooping to write on the ground (John 8) and remaining silent when the Pharisees were trying to trap him in an ethical argument of whether the adulterous woman they brought to him should be stoned for her sin.

“You are most powerful when you are most silent. People never expect silence. They expect words, motion, defense, offense, back and forth. They expect to leap into the fray. They are ready, fists up, words hanging leaping from their mouths. Silence? No.”

~ Alison McGhee

14 thoughts on “Are you prepared to be silent on occasion”

  1. So true Evan, Its so important to be silent. By being silent we can hear the messages from God too. Silence also helps us to think for a while before we react to any situation. Silence truly is powerful indeed.

  2. Proverbs 17- verse 28..Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding”..

    1. Thank you. Great point, great proverb.
      Jesus was silent. Makes me think that what broke the silence was a still, small voice, a quiet voice of absolute authority to the consciousness of the accusers and the accused. “He who is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.” Then, “Neither do I condemn thee. Go and sin no more.”
      Yes. Silence, space. Then messages from God.

  3. I’m so grateful for your sharing this. I don’t think that I have ever thought about it. There are so many reasons why our silence is best. I will especially
    be mindful of this from now on. thanks!

  4. I have learned through my study of C/S that whenever a torrent of false accusations are aimed at me, stillness and quietly knowing what God thinks stills the torrent and I am the winner.

  5. LOL! I LOVE this!! Recently a neighbor was furious with me because I had asked her contractor to move his truck (in a polite way) as I couldn’t get out of my driveway. It was so surreal. Prior to this we were cordial and friendly. I had NO response to her so I wished her a nice day and walked away. She was astonished. She still seems angry but I keep knowing the Truth and watching my thoughts to be sure I’m supporting healing. An important component was fighting the urge to justify myself or share the experience with others. Ahhh, silence!!

  6. “I love to observe Christmas in quietude, humility, benevolence, charity, letting good will
    towards man, eloquent silence, prayer, and praise express my conception of Truth’s
    appearing.” Miscellany 262:27.

    I have thought about the oxymoron “eloquent silence” and wondered what Mrs. Eddy
    could have meant!

    Any ideas from you Evan, or your blog readers would be much appreciated.
    Thank you.

    1. To me, her phrase “eloquent silence” means that quiet acknowledgement of Truth can be far more powerful and influential than a torrent of words.

  7. Hi Shireen, in looking up the definition for “eloquent” I found several synonyms which might help clarify “eloquent silence”.

    ‘expressive, meaningful, suggestive, revealing, telling, significant, indicative.’

    example: ‘her stance was more eloquent than words.’


  8. What happens when silence is used as a punishment ? As a child this was the preferred means of torment, as I experienced it. I did something ‘wrong’ and silence ensued. For days, months, weeks…. years. I learnt to listen to the still small voice within, secretly, in silence. Silence became both my experience of a weapon to hurt and a prayer to heal. I am still not entirely comfortable with silence and I am learning to trust it.

    1. That’s a different kind of silence than I was referring to, for sure. But if it happens, challenge it in your prayers. Know that all mental space is filled with loving thoughts from God. Don’t be impressed. Don’t let mortal mind use your thought for negative purposes. Align with the one Mind and think peace, love and gratitude!

      1. Thanks, Evan. I’m not so familiar with the language of Christian Science so I am assuming when you say mortal mind you are referring to what ACIM calls the ego and that there is only love, everything else is an illusion. In stillness, silence, of true prayer we allow Truth, Love, God to be revealed to us. It never left us in the first place.

        1. Mortal mind is all that opposes the Mind of God. That element of worldly thought that would create fear and suffering as opposed to love and healing.

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