Yes, a conversation can be wordless. And yes, a wordless conversation can be powerful. It may well be one of the deepest blessings you, or I, will receive.
A conversation with gaps of silence, with someone you don’t know very well, feels odd. However, a wordless conversation with the closest of family or friends can be deeply rich.
An uncomfortable or uplifting conversation . . . depends in large part on how well you know the person, and their character.
For example, after my mother suffered a massive stroke, her ability to communicate with words was greatly diminished due to aphasia.
She could no longer utter words that made sense.
Though I longed for them, they were no longer necessary because . . .
I knew them. I heard them. Different versions of them.
Even more importantly, I knew her. I knew who she was, and who she wasn’t.
Her words are carved into my being. Over and again day after year etched with care. The things my mother said and the way she made me feel . . . I can still hear and experience them.
As a little girl, I saw joy dancing in her smile as I handed her a fist full of dandelions along with a few sprigs of queen anne’s lace.
I happily plucked a bouquet of weeds from our backyard, and thought it was a magnificent gift. Just the right thing for my mama.
She could have thrown them away, ignored them by laying them on the table to wilt, or scolded me for bringing the messy bunch into the house. Surely I was tracking dirt on my feet, and bringing some kind of outside mess indoors.
Instead she lovingly gave them a place of honor, in a vase on the window sill.
She spoke life into me when I was too little to notice . . .
Sitting next to Mom after her stroke, even though she didn’t have words for me anymore, was like soaking up every single ounce of sunshine that ever existed.
I knew who she was and what she was likely to say.
Her outer words have become my inner words.
Jesus said, I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; . . . If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. John 15:5&7 NKJ
The forefathers of my faith tradition called the bible the outer word, and the prompting of the holy spirit the inner word.
The inner word is written in each believer’s heart by the Holy Spirit, and it is completely identical with that which is outwardly written in the New Testament. The Complete Writings of Alexander Mack William R. Eberly, Editor
We “hear” the words of our parents, spouse, or others, even when they’re not physically with us to verbalize them. We not only know their words, we know their character and essence.
Likewise, if we absorb the bible over the weeks, months, and years it becomes our inner word. We get to know God’s character. We can more clearly hear God’s still small voice when we quiet ourselves to listen.
I love to take long walks because, not only am I getting exercise and enjoying the fresh air, but I also find it’s one of the times I am most atune to the Holy Spirit’s prompting through the inner word.
I shared with you before how the towhee reminds me of God’s personal love song. But, there are many times on my walks I don’t have a sense of new things He might be saying to me. And that’s okay. I know who He is.
And while my mother was wordless, her essence still exuded because I have shared much time with her. Likewise, when God is wordless, His essence still exudes because I have shared much time with Him.
His outer words become our inner words. And a wordless conversation with Him can be a great blessing when you know Him and His character.
Dallas Willard puts it this way. The most important things about us in our mind. And the most important things about our mind is what it’s fixed on. The most important thing for our mind to be fixed on is the Lord. Check out my video here.