Learning To Be Silent

A few months back when my wife was out of town for work I went to buy a cigar. After I paid for it as I was about to walk out of the shop the Holy Spirit whispered to me “why don’t you sit down and smoke it here?”

I replied “why there is no one here to talk to and the TV is not working” I decided to stay anyhow. I spent over one and half hours sitting there and as I began to wonder what really was the point of me staying all that time a man suddenly stepped into the shop five minutes before closing. He bought himself a cigar and sat across from me. After we greeted each other and introduced ourselves he began to unpack a great deal from his heart without me having to do very much to make it happen. As he spoke I learnt that he had just stepped out of an extreme acidic religion sect and as far as he was concerned God was not real and if He was He was a tyrant…

After a three hour conversation, where I mostly listened, that started in the cigar shop and finished at the bar across the street I got this message from him a week later…

Hi Pablo

Was great to meet you last week. Thank you for your gift. Just finished your book Holding On Loosely last night.

You’ve shown courage both through your story, and your willingness to be open about it with the public. As they say here in Israel “Kol HaCavod”. Do you know that phrase?

As we discussed I don’t believe any longer in higher powers. Nonetheless, your book and our chat has given me the impetus to try and hold on loosely. Just having the concept explained as you do has helped. I’ve tried for short moments, but can only keep it going for a couple of minutes at a time before the heaviness of existence creeps back. I’ve tried and succeeded while playing a game with my children or walking them to the park, lifting weights, and planning a business.

Anyway, I won’t keep rambling – pleasure to meet you, thank you for the book and the guidance to explore a new direction.

For many our lives will be the only piece of Christian literature they will ever read before they read or listen to anything else that we try and recommend. Therefore involve yourself with God intimately so that the pages of your book will be full and not blank as full pages will mean that you will have to say very little yet the impact of your silence will be loud and clear.

Remember – in life the most important things are caught – not taught.


Photo by Elisa Lidell

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