A Time To Keep Silence!

“A time to keep silence and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7).

The third chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes discusses about a specific time for every different thing under the sky and elaborates about 38 such different times. One among those is the time to keep silent.

During certain circumstances, while we have to remain silent, we speak something, that may land us in trouble and later we lament for doing so. Similarly, when we are supposed to speak, we remain silent and miss the great opportunities.

At times, the ‘silence’ seems to be the sign of ‘sorrow’. When a son brought up with love and affection by the mother shows pertinacity in marrying a girl who is not to the liking of his mother, she stays silent out of affection towards him. The act of the son fills her with sorrow. Under such circumstances, I have seen many mothers keeping silent for the whole of their lifetime. In some families, the mothers will convey things to their husbands through their children. It shows the strained relationship which prevails between them.

Some people will maintain a spiritual silence and prayerfully listen to what God speaks to them. They will be waiting silently and patiently in God until He speaks to them in a thin voice at the bottom of their hearts.

Once we were on a visit to the land of Israel. When we approached the southern part of the Mount Carmel, we saw a man walking swiftly on the road. Our thought was that he might have been an Indian or even a Tamilian and we ran towards him with the fond hope of making pleasant exchanges.

He did not reply to any of our questions and in the end, he said in a thin voice he was a saint of silence and Trichy was his native town. He further told that he was a saint in a Catholic monastery. But the Scripture says that God has fixed a time to speak and it is the time to render witness to Him; a time to preach the Word of God; a time to pronounce the Good News.

The four leprous men, who were away from Samaria, knew that the enemies had left the place leaving behind their things and armories but they did not utilize the situation for selfish causes by keeping silent. But instead, they said, “If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now, therefore, come, let us go and tell the king’s household” (II Kings 7:9).

Yes. This is the final moment of the period of grace. If you do not proclaim the Gospel now, who else would do it?

To meditate: “As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country” (Proverbs 25:25).

Daily BreadJoshua Jebadurai