Thursday, February 17, 2011

the silent sermon

this is a little outside of what i usually put on my blog...but a friend emailed this story to me and i thought it made a beautiful analogy of how much each one of us NEED community. i searched the intrawebs to find out who wrote it, but couldn't find the author...i hope you enjoy it.

A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the preacher decided to visit him.

It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his preacher's visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace...and waited. The preacher made himself at home but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the preacher took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone, then he sat back in his chair, still silent.

The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone ember's flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and dead.

Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. The preacher glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave. He slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.

As the preacher reached the door to leave, his host said with a tear running down his cheek, 'Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I will be back in church next Sunday.'

We live in a world today, which tries to say too much with too little. Consequently, few listen. Sometimes the best sermons are the ones left unspoken.

1 comment:

shatkin said...

I actually decided to leave a comment on this blog after only reading the first few sentences because I have been thinking a lot about silence lately and what it means, what it can teach, why we avoid it fiercely??? The preacher sat down and the man was silent and waiting. The preacher put the ember alongside the fire and sat silent. For me I often teach my children with a high decibel at times. Silence usually means anger within a marriage. Silence among friendships signifies a break of some kind. Although we all connote silence with a problem, we all equally wish we had silence. It's an interesting dichotomy.

I think I just wrote a blog on your blog so I will silence myself and read the rest of your blog.