The hostess sat the large group at the table beside us. With 3 young children and 4 adults, I dreaded a loud lunchtime. Complaints filled my mind. Why couldn’t they be seated further away? Why do they have to be so close to us? Now, my lunch is ruined. Angry and annoyed, I donned my nasty face and resolved to block out the soon-to-be-raucous neighbor.
When the waiter approached to take their order, the adults pointed to their menus to convey their order. Instead of an anticipated cacophony of voices, silence filled the air. The entire group communicated through sign language.
The sound of silence never blared so loud.
Guilt landed like a brick in my stomach. I extended judgement and gripes instead of compassion and patience. I assumed the worst and allowed unkind thoughts. Shame on me.
In their world of silence, they ate, communicated, and taught me an invaluable lesson. Without saying a word, they revealed an ugly truth loud and clear. Over my cheeseburger and fries, I failed to love.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34 (NIV)
Through the silence, reminders and convictions of my one and only job: love. Love others as I am loved. Silence is never empty, it is filled with God’s whispers to love. Love through the noise and in the silence.
It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge and my job to love. ~ Billy Graham