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She was bitter, angry, often frustrated, unforgiving, and always right—a deadly collection of issues. As long as I did not press her in any meaningful way that remotely suggested something wrong with her, we were okay. During one of our more crucial relational moments, I had the opportunity to ask her one of my “out of the blue” questions. I wondered if she ever drove home in quietness. She quickly and adamantly said that she could never do that. She said the silence was unbearable. From her perspective, the quiet of the car ride home would be a painful experience.
She lived with a lot of guilt, shame, fear, and regret. Her method for overcoming these things was to replace the unquenchable noise in her soul with distractions from her world. I have often thought of her during times of turbulence in my life. Her problem was not foreign to me, which raises a legitimate question for me and you.
I think Chuck Swindoll said we need to create a parenthesis of quietness in our lives. We need a place where we can get away from the noise and settle into short seasons of silence, even if it is only five minutes in a parking lot, before entering your most-oft-frequented store. You will find another excellent solution for noise reduction in the context of a community of like-minded, caring friends.
One of the reasons I enjoy small group life with a group of intentional Christlike disciple-makers is that it provides a “parenthesis of quietness.” Our family loves these “parenthetical meetings” as we gather at different times during our week for loud laughing and intrusive conversations that combat life’s disruptions.
A caring community of disciple-makers is an excellent way of finding rest while living in a disruptive world. An intentional and purposeful community can draw out the noise in your soul while replacing it with compassionate and competent care. If you are part of a small group, especially your family, I urge you to make this a conversation topic soon. Challenge your friends to come alongside you to pursue you for the glory of God.
Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).