Unless a Grain of Wheat Falls; 2014; 29" x 21"; watercolor.

Unless a Grain of Wheat Falls; 2014; 29″ x 21″; watercolor.

There was a time in my life when I was stunned into silence. I unexpectedly received news of harm done to someone I love, two days later met the person who caused the harm face-to-face, and then several days after that received medical confirmation for my loved one of resulting lifelong disability.

It was too much, too fast. I shut down. People who cared deeply about me surrounded me, yet knew nothing of what was happening, or only bits and pieces. Grief penetrated like an arrow so deeply buried that even the shaft disappeared into the aching flesh of my heart. I stopped writing, and I stopped verbalizing anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary for some time after.

I understood why sometimes children cope with trauma by refusing to speak.  For some things, there are no words. Painting, however, over the next few years, opened a pathway to healing.

I feel silenced right now, though not from trauma or sadness. I simply feel there are movements in my soul for which words will not come. Or perhaps I am on the other side of speaking. I’ve said much of what I want to say, and now I settle into peaceful listening. Wherever I am, there seem to be only images, painting, visual expression.

I’m not sure when words will return; but for now, colors, shapes, images sing the visions of my soul.

22 thoughts on “Silence

    • Thank you so much for re-posting Jody! I thank God that He has given us a language for the soul when words fail. It took me a long time to realize how much I needed this language. Your work helps validate a pathway to healing that is often under-recognized. Even beyond my own journey, I think of a time when a child I love tried to process deep, deep trauma; and he was unable to access words. But when he drew his pain, he was able to share the unbearable and thus to access healing. I am so grateful to God for the gift of creativity.

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  1. I understand silence, when one is devastated. I was a rape victim and understand it, sometimes betrayal has made me silent, but there is so much beauty in life,too, that God has created. I am reminded of that when I look out at the dew covered trees in the morning. Life becomes more poignant .one becomes sadly wiser


  2. What a traumatic thing to have experienced! It reminded me of Maya Angelou’s experience as a child when she stopped talking. Also, I loved this: ‘I simply feel there are movements in my soul for which words will not come. Or perhaps I am on the other side of speaking’. I experience this as well but often in a good way. It feels like my mind and mouth have become silent and my heart and soul have taken over, expressing the intensity of what words cannot express to Him who understands.


    • As I learned more about childhood trauma in order to help my two children who are adopted, I came across the saying, “What is shareable is bearable.” Although silence can overtake me for a season, I do believe there must be some type of connection with another human, and most of all God, for true healing to take place. It’s good that you are able to verbally process!

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