Silence is praise to you,
And also obedience.
You hear the prayer in it all. (Psalm 65:1-2 The Message)
Does a particular word ever catch your attention?
Often a word visits me, and won’t let me go until I delve into its origins. Confide came to me the other day. It suggested that intimacy develops and grows between people who confide in each other.
I wanted to know more. One way to get more acquainted with a word is to break it down into its pieces. Knowing the meaning of prefixes comes in handy at times like these, and a few semesters of Latin doesn’t hurt either. “Con” means with, and “fide” comes from “fidere,” which means to trust. It also brings to mind fidelity or faith. So literally, I began to think of its meaning as “with faith.”
With faith, I approach another person believing that I can entrust myself to them. It takes courage. And it takes time for the trust to deepen. We have to bide our time with each other, allowing faith to do its work.
Advent is like that for me. It’s a waiting time. A time to be silent. To sit at the table with our coffee mugs, while my husband and I stare at our Christmas tree. No words.
I gently pull the red candle out of the second day marker to place it in the third day spot. Time quietly moves forward. A ornament on the tree catches my eye. It encapsulates the scene at the table in its orb. I ask my husband how to capture the moment on the camera. We talk technique, and I scurry off to get my camera and tripod. He gets up to go to his office downstairs. I tell him have a good day at work and give him a quick kiss. This trust works for us. The moments, the days, the months and the years of living together in confidence is like an unspoken prayer between us.
Prayer is silent communion. Prayer is getting up each day and doing what’s indicated. Accomplishing in faith the work given to each one of us. Prayer takes courage. And in time, while we wait, answers arrive.
God answers by sending messengers. Messengers who remind us to wait, trust and believe. And sometimes those messengers come in one simple word.