“Sitting in silence with others can be deeply healing. You’re not waiting for their next words. You’re simply going deeply into the moments together, united by this quiet you share. As you open to it, you can listen for what this rich silence is saying, to each of you and to both of you.”
— James Miller & Susan Cutshall
Silence between two is always a risk because we’re all so apt to break it and ruin the therapeutic framework with words in an attempt to bring clarity of meaning to the moment. Of course, so many moments are beyond faithful description or categorisation—especially those in the realm of emotional richness and supernatural spirituality. There’s too much of humanity in words and not enough of God.
God becomes realer to us in the awkward silence—an awkwardness that transforms into sweet spiritual revelation as we remain faithfully open to it and in it.
So words fail us, but we have an all-sufficient sense that they will be our panacea, probably because verbal or written communication with words is the most palpable way of expressing ourselves.
But in the midst of pure healing space, words have no role; no territory. The Spirit transcends all definable meaning.
The communication media of silence and other wordless modes takes us immediately into a divine space where healing may occur.
Practicing Healing Presence
How might we show that we care any more than by allowing the sacred to enter the space between us and the one we help; to respect them so much as to allow the silence to heal where words cannot. We remove ourselves—in the role of therapist or carer—as the potential barrier to the healing. We are merely a facilitator or conduit arranging the environment to bring God’s will to bear. We would be invisible if we could.
Only those with eyes, ears, hearts and minds fixed on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) can heal in his name. That might seem obvious. But if we don’t ‘increase’ God and decrease ourselves (John 3:30) then we will be an imposter.
Practicing healing presence is all about utilising the power of silence in poignant moments, particularly when persons are temporarily open to receive either holy revelation—as 1) a concept of understanding, or 2) a means of the action to take in order to become healed—or the healing itself.
There is healing in silence, where our faith transcends words. God doesn’t need our words in order to heal us or others, and, though words can play a role, they generally get in the way, distract us, or complicate matters even more. Much more may be communicated—for healing—through spaces and interactions devoid of words, but rich in unspoken meaning.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.