Every eye in the room was gazing at my face watching my expression hoping that it would reveal my hidden thoughts.
I wanted to escape the moment.
I felt trapped. I looked for an out. There wasn't one.
My wit, which had proven quick earlier in the day had gone in remission, leaving my thoughts momentarily handicapped.
I wanted to say something.
Not just anything........something brilliant......thought provoking........lifechanging......but words refused to attend my beckon.........
So I stood among them as the room began to grow smaller.
Awkward silence hung in the air and was as annoying as a creaking stair.
The quiet swelled and I swallowed empty chatter.
It would seem petty and would not be accepted.
Glances began to dart, first to each one present, then the floor or out the window.
It was really awkward.
To my relief, the subject was changed to a new matter that was less pressing, less intent, less provoking, averted elsewhere, not on me.
On the way home I pondered the test.
It seemed I had lost the game.
"Maybe I should have said.........."
"If I had responded with..........then this........."
The merry-go-round of possibilities began its familiar spin........
"Why didn't I just say........?????"
Because it wasn't there at the moment. That is why.
Evening and morning came. A new day with new opportunities to spring voice to my thoughts.
Yet my thoughts were still spinning on yesterdays merry-go-round,
until I heard the Lord's voice say,
"Be slow to speak........"
That is what I heard Him say.
"Be slow to speak........."
"It is better to not say anything than to say the wrong thing."
"Others may forget your silence but words may resonate in the memory of others for a lifetime."
Then I remembered His example.
Jesus was not only known for what He did say.........
but there were times when He didn't say anything at all.
And what He didn't say made an impact.
His silence is recorded. It is remembered. It was important.
Jesus said He didn't do anything unless He saw the Father doing it.
Perhaps He didn't say anything unless He heard the Father say it.
It is unusual for me to have this battle with regret when I have chosen to be silent.
No, it is often what I have said that leaves me pinned to the mat without hope for a win, regret filling my heart, leaving me longing with desire for a better match.
"Be slow to speak....."
His words have taken me off the merry-go-round for now.
Do you remember Samuel in the Bible?
It says that none of his words fell to the ground.
He knew when to be silent.
When he spoke his words impacted those who heard.
So much to learn when it comes to words and silence.
I hope I will be brave enough to choose silence again.
Confident that when words refuse to come, silence is golden.