When Silence Is Golden

John DeJong

READ : Job 2:11-13

This is probably one of this book’s most dramatic moments. Shock, amazement, great sorrow, bitter tears are how it is described from the friend’s firsthand account.

Silence for seven days, seven nights. They came to comfort and counsel. They could only sit in silence. Try to imagine being there. Listen to the silence. You can almost hear the voice of the heart. Look at the body language of Job’s friends. Their countenance changes as if in great pain. The color is drained completely from their faces.

When you are visiting a sick friend, the first test is: “Are you really there?” At a bedside is no time to be preoccupied with the television of your friend’s roommate. Don’t discuss with another visitor how your favorite team is doing. Be there, really be there!

Silence is what you say when you don’t know what to say. We are not good at silence. Certainly not for seven days and seven nights! When silence is broken, too often what takes place is idle talk, inane and inconsequential conversation. Instead learn to just be there. Hold a hand, sing a soothing gospel song, read passages of the encouraging Word.

Mae was frail and very thin. Emphysema made even breathing hard. Yet every day she was there, silently supporting her dying partner to the end!


Jesus, help us to learn to be silent and how to speak without words. Amen.