Monday, August 22, 2011


If you haven't followed my blog, I need to update you from last week when I felt challenged to go a week without talking.  Seven days of Prayerful Silence.  I know, it sounds questionable at first.  But the longer and longer I thought about doing this "test", the more it made sense.  Actually, it made more sense in other areas.  Can I listen better, will my touch be more compassionate, can I smell aromas that have wavered over my nose for years, will I be able to see things in a different light.....and will I be able to taste like never before. 

It's early...real early.  My week walk began at midnight last night.  Last night I  had several unusual dreams.  Each one had to do with me breaking my silence and responding to a situation.  Not what I really had in mind.  This morning when I rolled out of bed, I was mindful of the previous night's failures.  I set my jaw a little tighter and focused on zipping the lips.  My first test was connecting with my wife before she went to work.  Through simple head nods and waves....mission accomplished.  Now onto number two....walking the dogs. 

Our two golden retriever's, Mason and Barrett, need voice commands.  Or at least I thought they did.  We set out on our jaunt and encountered a neighbor walking his daughter to the bus stop.  He smiled, waved and said, "Hi".  I responded with a "thumbs up",  not anything in the way of words.  I wondered, "does he think I'm being rude in not speaking to the two of them?"  I gave another smile and a whistle to the two dogs and we were off in another direction.  The remainder of the stroll I learned through hand signals and hand claps how to get the "boys" attention.  Okay....making progress, I thought.

Now, I needed to set the story in motion by writing down the beginning to the journey.  So, I started typing.  Less than five minutes into the story....I heard the pup, Barrett, yelp.  I looked and saw him pooping on the carpet.  Crap....and I mean that in more ways than one.  I waved and ran to him as quick as I could, but the deed had been done.  Crap.  As I picked him up, I looked closer and saw he was sick.  Something he ate had upset his stomach.  We made an exit to the outside. Both of us needed some fresh air. What did I come away with?   I think I made a conscious effort to react, but not overreact.  Already the "tests" were beginning. 

The "teaching" can come at any age
An hour before this "learning", I had read a devotion in the Upper Room.  It talked about life lessons.....and it was becoming more visible as the minutes wore on.  Here's the story:

'I was born with a hole in the roof of my mouth that causes my speech to sound muffled and unclear. Throughout my life, I have complained to God because I am not like everyone else. I was bitter and unhappy for a long time; and my anger grew, especially a few years ago in my early teenage years -- until I began noticing people around me.

I was shopping at a local store when I approached a man who was moving slowly. One of his arms and one leg were completely paralyzed. I looked more closely to see his face and found that he was laughing. Even without being able to use his arm and leg, he was happy. How could this be? I tried to think what life would be like if I did not have use of an arm and a leg.

Even though I have a problem speaking, I can still be thankful for my ability to talk. I learned that in life we often complain about our problems, only to find that other people have problems worse than ours. While I was complaining, I was not looking to God and trusting God for who I am. Now I try to thank God for who I am, just as I am. That is hard to do, so sometimes I pray for patience, joy, and healing.

Another challenge arose later on in the morning....then another.  So far, I haven't buckled.  So far.  This won't be easy, I know that.  I'm praying that you hear God right along with me.  Here is my prayer.....

"But thou when thou shalt pray, enter into thy chamber, and having shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee.  And when you are praying, speak not much, as the heathens. For they think that in their much speaking they may be heard.  Be not you therefore like to them, for your Father knoweth what is needful for you, before you ask him.-Matthew 6:6-8



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