Companionable Silences

April is upon us which means we are changing gears from Joy and heading into Peace! 

I can’t recall the first time I heard the term ‘companionable silence’. But this simple term has explained so much to me. Think of it this way: you are sitting in a room with a few of your favorite humans when a sudden silence washes over the group. It’s not an awkward pause, where thoughts come rushing to your mind of “Oh gosh, someone better say something soon. Should I say something? Did we run out of things to talk about?”. It’s not a deafening silence, where all that you can hear is nothing, and the nothingness begins to drive you crazy. It’s a companionable silence, where a sense of peace wells up inside you and you realize that your friendship is growing stronger by purely existing with those other people.

This term ‘companionable silence’ has become one of my favorites. I was standing on a mountain with four of my college friends in North Carolina when I first realized it to be true. There we all were coming down the mountain, and the sun began to set. A couple people stopped just to look at something and then we all ended up stopping, and just standing in almost complete silence together. Nothing needed to be said. I was at peace.

I like to think that these companionable silences that bring this sense of peace don’t have to come solely from instances where you’re with other people. There are times when I’m outside by myself where I just take a deep breath and simply exist. I sit and observe the world continuing to happen around me, but I forget about responsibilities and stressors and just focus on existing in that moment. No music, or electronics, or other distractions. Just me.

Even in those times when I’m alone, I know that the sense of peace I feel comes from believing that I’m never truly alone. That ‘companionable’ aspect is still there because Jesus is right there existing with me. I’m safe. I’m alive. I am at peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:7 says that in every season there is a “time to be silent and a time to speak”. So much can be said in just a moment of silence.

Until next time,
Sarah

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