Pauses seem to be heavily frowned upon in our fast-moving society. We feel the need to fill awkward pauses with content instead of allowing them to run their course. Its almost like we are afraid of moments of quiet and reflectiveness during a conversation. As adults, we fight against pauses and try hard to keep conversations flowing. In a Good News Club, a teacher remembers a time when she was able to see how important a pause can be for a child. She saw how a pause is something to be appreciated and not avoided.
I had just asked the three boys who had come back to learn more of how they could have a relationship with Jesus; “What do you need to do to have your sins forgiven?”. We had just discussed the entirety of the gospel, and even though the pause stretched on until it felt awkward, I was determined to wait it out until someone responded.
Jim (name changed), finally responded with, “Believe in Jesus?”
“Well… you’re on the right track, but what do you need to tell God when you pray to Him?” I prompted. They were stumped again. I turned to Jim. “Believing in Jesus is correct, Jim. Have you ever done this before?” He shook his head
“I want to believe in Him,” Jim responded. He closed his eyes. “Jesus, I believe you are the Almighty God and I want you to take away my sins.” He looked up expectantly.
“Why can he do that?” I asked, just to be sure.
“Because he died and came alive again.” Jim was certain.
I continued working with the other two for a while, who both eventually expressed an understanding and faith in Jesus. That pause, where the child weighs all his or her options, deciding how this information will affect him or her, can feel like a lifetime. I am thankful that God can handle silence and that He is a God of processes, and that when a child says, “I need to think about this for a while,” He is still there, still working, still calling that child to Himself.
I shook myself free of my reverie, realizing all three boys were looking at their new Bibles excitedly trying to find verses they had learned in club. I watched them and thanked God for being a God who works in the pauses.