Sunday, April 12, 2009


And when words are not enough? What then? What comes when our words are neither sufficient nor necessary, when they litter the world and have no meaning?

God is silent too, sometimes. He knows that what we try to say is not what needs to be said. Our answer cannot be fitted so that it may be expressed in syllables, vowels, and consonants. Sometimes we can only acknowledge that silence is the best we can muster.

(Forgive my repetition; I know I've included some of these before, but they are more than worth sharing once again.)

“If I could prescribe only one remedy for all the ills of our modern world, I would prescribe silence. For even if the Word of God were spoken in our world, it could not be heard, for there is too much noise. Therefore, create silence.” – Kierkegaard

“Have you noticed this about him…that he has done so much and said so very little? …The man has not spoken for hours; and yet he has been speaking all the time…He wants to express himself, not with his tongue, but with his arms and lets—with my body I thee worship, as it says in the marriage service. I begin to understand…why the mutes at a funeral were mute. I see why the mummers were mum. They meant something.” - Manalive, G.K. Chesterton

“My Lord Jesus, I find it difficult to talk to You. What can I say? I who have turned away from You so often in indifference. I have been a stranger to prayer and undeserving of Your friendship and Your love.” – Thomas รก Becket

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? ...Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.” – Romans 8:31-34

“But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to him, "You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?" Jesus answered him, "You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above." – John 19:10-11

“I say, therefore, that there is no creature (toad, scorpion, or serpent) so noxious as the gods. Let them answer my charge if they can. It may well be that, instead of answering, they’ll strike me mad or leprous or turn me into beast, bird, or tree. But will not all the world then know (and the gods will know it knows) that this is because they have no answer?” - Till We Have Faces, C.S. Lewis

“But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate said to him, "Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?" But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.” – Matthew 27:12-14

“There was silence in the dark assembly long enough for me to have read my book out again. At last the judge spoke. “Are you answered?” he said. “Yes,” said I.”
The complaint was the answer. To have heard myself making it was to be answered… I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer. Till that word can be dug out of us, why should they hear the babble that we think we mean?” - Till We Have Faces

“And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask Him any more questions.” – Matthew 22:46

“When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of "no answer." It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, "Peace, child; you don't understand.” - A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis

“I ended my first book with the words no answer. I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice? Only words, words; to be led out to battle against other words.” - Till We Have Faces

“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.” – Isaiah 53:7

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