The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Seeking silence

Amid the noise and bustle of a well-traveled Chicago street, the billboard jumped out at me: "Silence is weird."

It was an ad for cell phones, so customers, of course, are encouraged to talk as much as possible. Some people, if creating their own billboard, might write: "Silence is golden." Others with relatives who haven't spoken to them in months or years might say: "Silence is cruel."

Our culture devalues silence. Studies have shown that if there is more than 15 seconds of silence in a group, someone will speak. Even in worship we often devalue or become uncomfortable with silence, filling every second with music or speech.

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February issue


Embracing diversity