and then there was silence.
conversation is one of my favorite things – with coffee of course, and maybe some lemon pound cake – but a few months ago one of my favorite conversations came to a dead stop. there was just nothing left to say. this was a 12 year conversation that had always challenged and intrigued me and seemingly out of nowhere, i found myself looking in the face of the reality that the conversation was over. i was stunned – first by the fact that i had never been at a loss for words, and secondly by the turn this conversation had taken. my favorite conversation had become an unrecognizable, hostile place where the starting place, the foundation from which to jump off of, was suddenly foreign and unsure and i was no longer safe there. i kept tracing the lines of this new foundation back, trying to figure out where it took this turn. but i couldn’t. i couldn’t see where the turn happened because it was in the heart of the friend i had been having this conversation with for all these years.
the day the conversation died we were sitting at starbucks, coffee in hand, the air was heavy with silence. i stared at the building across the street the words cascading through my mind – there’s nothing left, there’s nothing left. the last hour and a half had been filled with small talk about a small drama with a past mutual friend and i was out of time. the real conversation had been silenced weeks before and it seemed neither of us could find the words to pick it back up. i drove home with a heavy heart and nothing else to say. how could it be? there was always more to say, we always had trouble getting off the phone, picking up the conversation where we left off the next day, but now i found the loss for words insurmountable. all the words i wanted to say were only echoes of other voices showing concern, reaching out with love into the waters that had become murky and unrecognizable in an attempt to make a connection. but i watched as these voices were dismissed as out of touch with reality, and i knew beyond a doubt that my voice would only fade into all the others. after-all, i had nothing new to say. the attempts i did make to understand the new foundations for the conversation were left unanswered, met with short replies or a change of subject. so i just stopped talking. and she stopped talking. and things got very quiet. my heart was broken but all i could hear was the Holy Spirit asking me, “will you be with me in this quiet place?” and all i could say was – “yes.”
i understand that sometimes that’s all you can do. just be quiet, just stop pushing, just let the people you love be on their own journey, and you be on yours regardless of that nagging voice inside telling you to fix it, there has to be something you can do, something you can say, that your silence won’t be understood and you may be judged wrongly. unfortunately, posing a defense or explanation for yourself often just gets you caught up in more turmoil and pain and ultimately fails to bring some magical resolve. it’s all goes back to that foundation – that jumping off point conversations start from. when that changes everything that comes after it changes.
it’s hard when connections break down and silence follows… but this is what i know to be true. The Father is calling us all by name. His Holy Spirit is in conversation with us all regardless of wether we recognize Him for who He is or not. He is our home. I know that He is Faithful to bring us back when we strike out in an expedition to find something we believe we need. sometimes we travel far from home and it takes a while, sometimes a lifetime to make the journey. i pray for safe travels and that our conversations with the Holy Spirit be clear, that we will have eyes to see and ears to hear and that we will be willing when He says to come home.