Thursday, September 20, 2018
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Silence speaks louder than words

Hundreds of e-mails come through my two accounts on a daily basis. If I had to guess, 90% of them are junk.

Most I don’t click to open. They go straight to the trash.

Today’s sampling:

Pay your traffic ticket in Seattle.

We’d like to print your business cards.

The Better Business Bureau is processing a complaint against you.

There was an exciting new fossil formation found in Denmark.


But the last one in my junk folder caught my attention:

Five things you can never get back.

The $14 that I spent on a nasty chicken-fried steak in some restaurant in downtown Sidney the night before immediately came to mind but somehow I knew that wasn’t what this message was talking about.

The five things it listed were: A stone once thrown, a word once spoken, the occasion after it’s missed, time once it’s gone and a person after they die.

That’s pretty deep stuff for junk mail.

But in that moment on that day, I realized it wasn’t junk mail at all. Somebody somewhere knew I needed to read that message.

It all hit deeply close to home but one particular section screamed volumes at me.

It had been a long trip across the state with little sleep and lots of stress. As it ended up, we had to haul a giant load of disappointment home with us.

Everyone knows that feeling of having worked extremely hard for something, only to learn it wasn’t yours to have.

When it’s your kid who gets the wind knocked out of his sails, you want to say something to make him feel better.

I had no words.

Well, maybe I had words but I was pretty sure I couldn’t put them together as a healing force.

Once uttered, you can’t “unsay” words. That’s what makes them so powerful.

So rather than take the risk of saying the wrong thing, I said nothing. I didn’t try to fix it, change it or cover it up. I simply sat quietly, waiting for the pain to lift.

In the stillness came an amazing healing for all.

I’m a word person and sometimes they spill out of me.

I learned that day, though, that there isn’t always something worth saying.

Sometimes it’s simply better to let silence be golden.