The awkwardness of silence often causes people to speak before thinking.
Filing the air with empty words,
we talk when we have absolutely nothing to say.
I've been on the receiving end of empty words many times in my grief.
People want to make you feel better, so they say things like,
"God will bring good from your pain."
"God has a plan."
I've often wondered how God feels when we throw Him around in conversations just to keep the air moving.
I've felt the sting of His arrival way too early in a conversation, but I've spoken too early many times myself.
In the midst of a tough situation,
I've often forced words.
Trite cliches have slipped from my lips, and even as it's happened I've been dying inside,
knowing that my words are so empty, even hurtful, in the midst of such great pain.
So, what should we do when we find ourselves wordless?
What should we say when absolutely no words have value when laid beside the deep need for answers?
As someone who has longed for answers at times when no answers made sense,
I suggest that when we find ourselves wordless we should remain quiet.
Allow the awkwardness of silence to invite God's presence into a room rather than trying to force Him in quickly.
God was silent for 400 years before sending Jesus in the form of a baby.
I have to wonder if the people that lived during that time of silence didn't feel the awkwardness of no prophets, no miracles, no revelations.
I have to wonder if people didn't sit around and discuss the promises of Isaiah and think,
"When will God send this so-called Messiah?"
"Will God ever show up?"
Sometimes in our lives, we feel the silence of God as we pray.
We wonder if He'll ever show up.
We struggle with the silence.
This morning I'm thinking that if God was okay with 400 years of silence,
we need to be okay with His silence too.
And we need to be okay with quiet rooms filled with no answers.
Today, if you find yourself in need of answers or the right words and you don't have any,
just share love instead of words.
Share a hug instead of a solution.
Embrace the silence of God in your own life.
Allow the silence of the moment to usher in Someone whose Presence arrives as tenderly as a newborn babe on Christmas morning.
We don't need to force words or answers or His Presence, because He already proved that He knows when and how to show up with the only Word that matters.
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,
and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.
She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger.
I'm thankful today for His Word, Jesus.
Because of Him, there is no need for me to force words.
On a silent and holy night,
And life changed for all mankind.
Past, Present, and Future.