A QUIET WORD Lis­ten, care

POWER CAN BE IN LIS­TEN­ING AND IN STAY­ING SILENT

Shepparton News - - SNNEWS - By Ge­orge Dee­ble

Euroa Chris­tian Fel­low­ship

I ad­mire my wife for her abil­ity to sit in si­lence with her friends and not feel the need to fill the gap with of­ten mean­ing­less words.

Per­son­ally, I find it dif­fi­cult to cope with si­lence, but I am sure I am not alone.

Rus­sian cel­list and con­duc­tor Matislav Ros­trapovich was 16 when he met the great com­poser Dmitri Shostakovich, then teach­ing at the Moscow Con­ser­va­tory.

‘‘He was very with­drawn, ner­vous and con­stantly shak­ing,’’ Ros­trapovich said.

‘‘Even with his friends Shostakovich talked very lit­tle and some­times did not talk at all. He just wanted to have the pres­ence of a per­son he liked, sit­ting with­out a word in the same room.

‘‘Some­times he would tele­phone me and ask me to come to his rooms quickly. So I would ar­rive and he would tell me to sit down and then be silent.

‘‘I would sit for half an hour, with­out a word. How­ever, it was most re­lax­ing, just sit­ting. Then he would get up and say, ‘Thank you, good­bye, Slavia’.

‘‘It was very spe­cial sit­ting like that with him. When I left I felt like I had been through some type of cathar­sis, the re­lax­ation was pu­ri­fy­ing,’’ he said.

For years I be­lieved if I was in a coun­selling sit­u­a­tion I had to re­solve is­sues with words of wis­dom.

Later I dis­cov­ered that sim­ply be­ing an at­ten­tive, car­ing, lis­ten­ing ear had a far more pro­found and heal­ing ef­fect than a mul­ti­tude of words.

To be able to sit with friends in si­lence is an in­di­ca­tion of true friend­ship where they are so com­fort­able with peo­ple that it is un­nec­es­sary to fill ev­ery void with words.

Even in our prayer lives we feel that we must ar­tic­u­late ev­ery lit­tle thought, as if God doesn’t know al­ready.

The Bi­ble even in­structs us that there are times to be silent, to ‘‘Be still and know that I am God’’.

Thomas Car­lyle said: ‘‘Si­lence is the el­e­ment in which great things fash­ion them­selves’’.

I think I might go out and heed my own ad­vice and try and spend a bit more time lis­ten­ing and sit­ting in si­lence with God, and with friends to see if I can go for more than five min­utes with­out open­ing my big mouth.

I’m sure ap­pre­ci­ate it. they will all

TO BE ABLE TO SIT WITH FRIENDS IN SI­LENCE IS AN IN­DI­CA­TION OF TRUE FRIEND­SHIP WHERE THEY ARE SO COM­FORT­ABLE WITH PEO­PLE THAT IT IS UN­NEC­ES­SARY TO FILL EV­ERY VOID WITH WORDS.

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