The preacher pulls the little cord that turns on the lectern light, and deals out his note cards like a riverboat gambler. The stakes have never been higher. Two minutes from now he may have lost his listeners entirely, but at this minute he has them in the palm of his hand.
The silence in the church is deafening because everyone is listening to it. Everyone is listening, including himself. Everyone knows the kind of things he has told them before and not told them, but who knows what this time, out of the silence, he will tell them?
Frederick Buechner, Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale