Tonight I watched 'The Simpsons' with my family. It was the episode "Jaws Wired Shut." In this episode, Homer gets his jaw broken and is unable to talk. He discovers that his family is quite interesting, summed up with "Wow, Bart has feelings."
The point is that usually Homer is talking about himself and his life, that he does not hear what his family is saying. because he is so involved in his own life, he does not take the time to hear what the rest of his family are saying. Within his enforced silence, Homer becomes a better man. Not only does he hear his family, he hears what they are feeling.
I have been through a similar breakthrough in the past three months while undertaking CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education). Within this course, I learnt how to keep myself quiet and listen to patients. Not only hear what they are saying, but what they are feeling.
I am a talker. I like talking, and am guilty of talking about myself. Often. I am quite a selfish person in that respect, and no one would know that better than my family.
However, during the last few months I have found myself listening more and talking less. It has been quite a change. One for the better, for the most part, yet I wonder how long I can keep it up.
The thing is, the quieter I am the more I hear, the more I am tuned in to what is going on. So far, this hasn't all been a pleasant experience. By not filling space with gabble, the more I 'hear' the dissatisfaction in living, my own, and those around me.
There is a positive, and a large one at that. By experiencing quiet, I have been able to hear God more clearly. The gentle voice that has guided me once had to eke it's way through my own nonsense. Now, it is a more regular murmur.
Don't think I'm going crazy and hearing voices. It's not like that. Hearing is the wrong word. Like how Homer started 'hearing' his family when he stopped talking ("Wow, Bart has feelings"), it is the same with 'hearing' God. By keeping quiet, God is revealed in the silence.