Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. Romans 8.26
We’re good at words in the Church. We use lots of them, words to heal, words to bring hope, words to challenge, words to inspire, words to wrestle with meaning, and at worst, words to condemn, criticise, exclude. We often use words to try and explain, to make sense of the world, to try and justify the way things are. But there are so many parts of our broken realities that defy simple, or simplistic, answers. So many things we see, and hear, and experience that words can’t fix, or make better, and often our attempts to do so ring out as hollow platitudes.
It is better to sit with the hurting and the broken than to try and take their pain away with empty words. It is better to seek to address those things which are wrong and unjust than to preach about them. It is better to offer presence than prattle.
Sometimes, even in our shared worship, but often in our own time we need to let the words slip away and allow the silence to embrace us. To allow the Word to work in us rather than fill our minds with words. We fill our lives with noise and activity and distractions, and miss out on meaning and depth and stillness. As the Psalmist writes: “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46.10)