The Little Bottle of Silence

By Ray Goldrup

(Based on a true story)

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Why would Grandpa give Gage an empty bottle?

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you” (John 14:27).

The Little Bottle of Silence

Gage stared at the empty old bottle and turned it over in his hands. It was small and misty green, with a cork stopper in the top. Grandpa Russell had given it to him after his baptism.

“What is it?” Gage asked. “I know it’s a bottle—but there’s nothing in it.”

“Oh, it’s full,” Grandpa said.

Gage shook the bottle. “Well, it looks empty to me.”

Grandpa laughed. He pulled out the cork and held the little bottle near Gage’s ear. “Can you hear it?” he whispered.

“Hear what?” Gage whispered back.

Grandpa smiled. “Silence,” he said. Then he put the cork back in the bottle. “In today’s world, silence is pretty hard to find. It’s like medicine, and each drop is as precious as gold.”

Gage said thank you and took Grandpa’s strange gift home. But he didn’t think about it much.

A few weeks later, Gage’s uncle Vince passed away. After the funeral, lots of relatives crowded into the front room at Gage’s house to visit. Gage escaped to his bedroom and closed the door. He could hear the muffled voices of his parents and relatives down the hall.

Gage saw the old green bottle sitting on his desk and picked it up. He turned it over in his hands. Grandpa had said silence was like medicine. Gage needed to find some peace and comfort after Uncle Vince’s funeral.

Gage pulled the cork loose from the bottle and tipped it over his head, pretending to let a little silence pour out. He knew the bottle wasn’t really full of silence. But he knew he needed some quiet time to feel close to God.

He felt tears build up in his eyes. Uncle Vince wouldn’t be there anymore—no more silly jokes, no more wrestling with him. Gage’s heart hurt from missing him.

Then in the silence, Gage felt something warm grow in his heart and soften the pain. He remembered that Uncle Vince wasn’t gone forever; he had just moved on to the next world. Because of Jesus Christ and the plan of salvation, everyone would live forever. Gage was still sad, but he knew that someday he could see Uncle Vince again.

As he held the bottle in his hands, Gage felt peaceful inside. He knew it was because of the Holy Ghost and not the bottle. The bottle had just reminded him to be quiet so he could feel the Holy Ghost. He corked the bottle and set it down.

Then he went back to the front room to be with his family. He could carry the peace and comfort of the Holy Ghost inside of him even outside his quiet room.