A small one, an old one….. but worth a few chews anyway. What does someone say when they have nothing to say? You would think that they allow a little quiet space. But this seems to be considered a black hole, as if quiet would swallow up ones very existance.
This is something I have noticed strongly in two areas, but I extrapolate it out to apply to lots of communication in our culture. The two areas I personally notice it the most is TV, when I watch it, and the second area is that of Christian messages.
It is as if we panic when we don’t get to see something on the horizon – something to comment upon, to speculate about, to analyze. Why do we do this? Why the need for foolish noisemaking?
I am noticing this now as a blogger. Sometimes there isn’t a pressing issue, and I don’t have to chat people up, but if I feel that little compelling in the back of my mind, I stop and ask why. Sometimes you need to hand the microphone over, sometimes you need the white space to give meaning to the topic.
It isn’t the end of the world. Christians, more than most, need to have spaces of green field and quiet streams. We get very spiritually lean without that.
And the worst thing a Christian can do, when they are supposed to speak as the oracles of God, is to just make something up. Just fill the space with drummed up import.
Am I thinking of anyone in particular? No. Just the realization that when I skimmed through the news I felt… where is something to discuss? Well, maybe there is a lull, or maybe the lull is within me, but is that so very negative? Negative space has meaning and purpose, and separates the positives into an order and gives beauty.
We have a culture filled with noise, and the unending opportunities to keep the cup full of the nearest noisiemaker. Drunken with the old bubbly, but not fresh and sweet new wine.
Something fresh and sweet has to go through a cycle of renewal and new sowing, growing, and harvest. There are times of allowing the field to lie fallow for a time.
Why does that scare us so much?
Do we cease to have meaning when we refrain from speaking? Where does the meaning reside? Our doing, our expression? Perhaps this is the result of erasing intrinsic meaning from our view of the universe: we damage our ability to hear, to see, and to know.