A heart set in silence listens with its full presence and shares a kind word drawn from its abundance of gentleness.

For we all fall short in many respects. If anyone does not fall short in speech, he is a perfect man, able to bridle his whole body also‚ĶFor every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. This need not be so, my brothers. Does a spring gush forth from the same opening both pure and brackish water?” (James 3: 2,7-11)

Littered Words

The heart that sputters words profuse,
With opinions that must be heard,
Is thoughtlessly tossing refuse
On holy ground before the Word.

The open mouth closes the ear,
And judgements freeze the heart to ice;
How can the Word Himself draw near,
And penetrate this wall of vice?

Silence invites the heart of stone:
To listen tenderly with love,
To attend to the Word alone,
To raise the eyes and look above.

Silence renews all from within:
The spoken word, drawn from this source,
Brings healing, peace, and joy — not sin;
Spirit guides the tongue on its course.

She strives always to listen first,
And speak if needed — not to burst.

May the Spirit grant us the grace to listen with tender love in silence and to speak only when needed.

(c) Paul Buis, 2004