The Surgery of Silence | The Rev. Nicole Foster

The other day, I found myself sitting outside, with my phone and headphones. I was about to go for a bike ride to not only workout, but also attempt to relieve some anxiousness that was setting in. But for some reason…I just sat down. As I sat there, I looked at my headphones and decided I didn’t want to listen to Apple Music. I just wanted to sit there because deep down inside, I was sick of the constant noise and non-stop activity. I usually feel guilty for not being productive, but I just had an urgent need to be still and quiet. My soul needed it.

Does our very being need silence?

While I continued to sit there, I was aware of God’s presence, and committed the moment to the Prince of Peace. As I got on with the rest of my day, I was much calmer, less irritable, and much more focused. It was if God had done surgery on my soul.

Some call it contemplative prayer, some call it meditation. Others might call it centering prayer. Whatever the term, there are times when we just need to simply “be”.

As created holistic beings, God has orchestrated benefits in silence, for our overall well-being.

PsychCentral states the following, from a physiological standpoint, on silence:

“Silence helps:

  • Lower blood pressure, which can help prevent heart attack.
  • Boost the body’s immune system.
  • Benefit brain chemistry by growing new cells. A 2013 study found that two hours of silence could create new cells in the hippocampus region, a brain area linked to learning, remembering, and emotions.
  • Decrease stress by lowering blood cortisol levels and adrenaline. Furthermore, according to a 2006 study in Heart, two minutes of silence relieves tension in the body and brain and is more relaxing than listening to music. This was attributed to changes in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain. 
  • Promote good hormone regulation and the interaction of bodily hormone-relate systems.
  • Prevent plaque formation in arteries.”

With the constant noise pollution around us, it might do us some good to practice silence. How much more wisdom and insight might we receive from the Holy Spirit if we made an effort to practice silence? I’ll quietly find out.

Peace and Love,

The Rev. Nicole Foster


The Rev. Dr. Nicole Foster the T.V. Host and founding minister of The Hippie Theologian. She holds a Doctor of Ministry from Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, a Master of Divinity from Redeemer Theological Seminary and a B.A. in History from Southern Methodist University. She’s an ordained Anglican minister and teaches Old Testament for various organizations. She loves to hike, camp, make organic soap, and be a beach bum as often as possible.

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