by Frank Muller
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Have we noticed that the best relationships we have are ones where we can sit in silence and just enjoy being in their presence? It is the unspoken truth of comfortable silence that screams at the top of our lungs, “I love you” yet not a word is uttered.
It can be in that still silence a communication that is deeper and richer than any discussion about the weather, the kids, politics or sports or other passing matters we divert our time on. A best friend can simply nod in agreement that in this moment is life, real life.
How do we reach that point in a relationship where the two no longer feel a need to talk about the passing but rather to simply being? Through the years I have pondered this question and its’ implications and if I may, would like to suggest some considerations for our meditation.
The first step in a relationship is in fact listening and talking. More so, it is a process of getting to know a person because we are in fact curious. Later, through that process we find common interests (or questions) and we begin to value what the other has to say and think.
This process of curiosity often leads to interactions of laughter and humor as together we see life in its’ idiosyncrasy and paradoxes. We learn together through banter, jokes, conversations about nothing how to begin to view and interpret this thing called life.
We stumble, fall down, we succeed, and we fail together and remarkably it is this relationship that may not always be smooth but comes with little to no judgment. In the unspoken silence, it reassures one another that we know we are not perfect and yet this relationship seems to be as close to perfect as two can get.
When we learn the words of our best friend, when we have assimilated the tones and beats of their voice, when we have studied every facial expression and mannerisms, we are coming to really know them. No longer do we need just the words to know them, we can now sense their thoughts and feelings.
We speak the unspoken without saying a thing. This is when a friend transcends into a best friend. This is the time when time no longer matters. Whether we spoke last week or two years ago, we are instantly reconnected to that spiritual dimension that says I know you, and I love you.
Then, at last, we may begin to realize that there is in fact another best friend in our lives. It is that voice in our hearts that speaks to us and always has. Oh, many times a voice can be heard but it is condemning or scheming or judging us. That is the not the voice of a best friend, but rather of the world that speaks not like a friend but as a tempter.
This other best friend is the one who was always there and never condemns. We stop when we first notice that voice and we seek more. That relationship (like the other) is formed through words that are good and true. We begin by listening and proceed by asking questions because we are curious. We come to try and know that voice of our best friend whom we have never seen but so clearly read and hear.
As we learn to talk to this voice with our own internal voice, we often start by just rambling on and on like any new relationship that desires to fill the empty spaces. Then, one day, we simply say what is on our heart and ask, “what do you think I should do”? And then, silence.
Once we stop talking, we enter into the silence of a best friend who is carefully considering all that we have said and thought and done. Then, the silence is nudged by that first impression, that first gentle image of the Word we heard or read long ago. We get a resolution, an inspiration.
What now to do? Then, remembering our best friends we see whom we trust and love we just say “yes” to this friend whom we cannot see but have always known is there. Then we go and do and come back another time to chat with our friend again the same way.
Over time, we come to realize that words are no longer necessary because the best friend accompanies us all the time. We actually are never alone, and that best friend just waits for the silence to suggest, to imply, to nudge or wink or laugh at the incongruity of the world.
Then, we begin to realize that our best friend is not only with us but with everyone we meet. Oh, many do not know they have this best friend but by becoming best friends with them we progress to the place of silence with them. It is there in that mutual silence that we can introduce our new best friend whom we see to the best friend we both have always had but so often ignored. Now, we have each other but more importantly we share this new best friend together. The three of us now chat in each other’s presence often without saying a thing.
Over time, I pray we will all be blessed to have a best friend or two but the friends we have outside of ourselves will inevitably pass from this life into the next but the best friend within us never leaves, in fact grows fonder and closer.
As we grow in this friendship, we now become more childlike. Oh, the biological clock has certainly advanced greatly, but the spiritual clock is not aging, it is getting younger. Our memories are mutually shared with this best friend as we share together the memories of our youth forgotten but now with the help of our best friend, we see them as clear as if we were standing there again.
It is here that our best friend in the silence begins to show us how every laugh, every tear, every stumble, every sin, every person we ever met mattered. Like a child we see all things with innocent eyes, and we cry in the silence to the best friend, thank you!
Ebenezer Scrooge saw his past, present and future and he is a construct of our best friend who shows us all and we begin to understand. It is never too late to find a best friend in this world, and it is never too late to say yes to someone who seeks us out desiring to be the best friend who never leaves, never changes, never gets distracted or too busy.
My prayer for us all is that we respond to the friend that has always been with us. If one does not know how, then ask someone that your still small voice seems to be pointing you towards. Venture into that Word and into that silence and realize that we are loved, profoundly loved. We can speak the unspoken without saying a thing to our best friend. And He will answer.
May Peace be with us all.