In his book As One Without Authority, Fred Craddock discusses what it means and looks like to preach the Gospel in today’s culture and society.
In the opening chapter he notes the decline in authority given to the preacher today, discussing how we are people who are overloaded with information and words, and that the emphasis in communication has shifted from spoken word (oral communication) to visual communication via TV, movies, etc.
While he offers insightful commentary throughout, one of his comments stood out among the others. Primarily, I believe, because it convicts me of the fact that I have trouble sitting in silence enough. That I don’t stop to hear the silence, to listen in silence. Or, more accurately, to listen for and to God in the silence. Craddock states:
“If man’s capacity for receptivity is no longer polarized around sound and person but rather around sight and object, the difficulties for the preaching task are all too obvious. Perhaps the expression ‘God is silent’ really is a reference to the deafness of modern man.”
And I often wonder why it seems God doesn’t speak and lead more clearly or forthrightly. Maybe it’s because I am too busy or distracted to sit and listen. Maybe it’s not that God is silent, but that I am (or, more accurately, have made myself) too deaf to hear.