Participating in Silence

by Marcia Lee Laycock

I recently watched an amazing video on Youtube highlighting a drum corps from Basel Switzerland. My husband and I were fascinated with the synchronization of the group. Not a step, not a stroke was out of sync. Then my husband noticed something and pointed it out to me. In order to keep the rhythm and unity of the group the young men on either end of the line sometimes had to strike only air.

And it struck me that those on the end were making a significant sacrifice. All the others were contributing to the sound of the group, striking their drums at precisely the right moment to create one synchronized beat. The boys on the end had to be content with silence so that the visual impact of the whole group would be effective.

Sometimes we writers find ourselves in that same place – a place of sacrifice, a place of silence. Perhaps we become leaders in a writers’ organization that takes time away from our personal writing. Perhaps we volunteer to be a judge in a contest that precludes entering our own work. Perhaps we step aside and let someone else take credit for the work we have done, or we find ourselves editing the work of others instead of writing our own. Perhaps we write a piece that for whatever reason has to have the by-line, ‘anonymous’.

Our motives for doing all these things may vary, but under it all lies sacrifice. We must be willing to strike the air in order for the whole to function well. We are willing to be silent so that others may learn the skills of a craft whose ultimate goal is to glorify God.

Our yearning, as writers who are Christ followers, is to write, to speak, to give voice to the truths He puts in us. But sometimes God calls us to be silent in our service to Him and to those who strive to write for Him. It’s not an easy place for a writer to be but there are rewards.

I am often asked to edit manuscripts for other writers. My first inclination is almost always to say no. I want to write my own work , not edit someone else’s. But often I sense a strong nudge from the Lord, so I will say yes. And each time there are things in the work that teach me – sometimes I will gain an appreciation for a skill I have not yet mastered myself, or I’ll see a spiritual application in the work that I need in my own life.

There is always a reason for silence. We are not always called to speak.

Have you been reluctant to participate in silence? Perhaps there are things the Lord wants you to learn. Perhaps there are rewards He wants to give you.

“Each of you should use whatever gifts you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1Peter 4:10

“Then I will purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the lord and serve him shoulder to shoulder.” Zeph. 3:9

Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta
Canada where she is a pastor’s wife and mother of three adult daughters. She
was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel,
One Smooth Stone. Her second novel, A Tumbled Stone was recently short listed
in the contemporary fiction category of The Word Awards. Marcia also has two
devotional books in print. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer,
Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan. 
Abundant Rain, an ebook
devotional for writers can be downloaded here. Visit Marcia’s Website