The Potential Significance of Silence
Is silence golden? Well, silence can be deafening when someone wants to speak of something that touched their life dearly and those around them do not want to listen. If the universe intersects some people in a negative way, they would just as soon not hear the voices that need and should be heard. They would rather be shrouded in ignorance than know the truth. This self-protection from that which is not pleasant but is someone else’s reality does more harm than good. It is a missed opportunity for growth and learning.
Everyone’s voice matters. Even those with a song that is full of sorrow deserves to be sung, deserves to be heard. It should not fall on deaf ears; it should be listened to with compassion. We are all called to be servants of God. Being a Christian, living in his likeness means opening ourselves up to some painful discussions now and then.
The disciplines had to be filled with grief at what they saw Jesus endure. They each had come to know him, one on one, and had some conviction he might be the chosen one. Yet, his words were filled with not only hope but of justice. He urged others to care for their brothers. This request involves being supportive of those in need, those hurting and those who need more than a passing glance. That, at times, could be painful and it was for the disciples.
It is unfathomable to speak of living a life of Christianity and following the Church by simply attending. It is not enough to simply take care of your own immediate family’s needs in your home. No, God intended us to be gateways between him and others in many ways and not all ways are an easy path. Some involve sacrifice. Yet, those hurting in our country are met too quickly with condemnation for their misgivings, be it having committed a crime in their life, being abused, being disabled, or being chronically or mentally ill. These conditions are often treated as if they are contagious. Be wary of these folks for they will pass it on!
Steps are needed to show Christianity, not lines from the Bible nor dressing up every Sunday. One should not speak of living a good life if that life does not involve helping others. What is good about a life that serves no one else?
People in need deserve disciplines. They deserve loved ones and friends that are there for them, that listen, that accept, care and respect their story. Just because it has dips and bends along the way does not make it any less magnificent. Listening is learning and to the other person it can be the ultimate healing.
I suppose the end all question in this blog is are you able to be a healer? Do you have the ability to love others unconditionally? Can you allow others a voice to be heard without judgment on your part and gain respect for their experiences, though they are different than yours?
Silence is not golden for a child of abuse. It is not calming either when you have been raped or no one believes you. Someone chronically ill still needs to be heard; though their voice may be pained it still matters. And you listening has the power to help ease the pain. Infact, listening can be one of the most uplifting things you can do for others.
Thus, the silence resounds. It seems to be a prevailing attitude in society, even among families and friends. People are ignored, not responded to and put by the wayside as if they are not worthy simply because their life is different. They choose to distance themselves from those with negative experiences in life and then, never have to concern themselves with being part of the solution. They are willing to accept the loss of growth because that growth will come with some pain, some tears, and some potential heartache.
Talking to several folks over the past several months has given me a great insight to others perceptions of silence. I have seen tears, heard shouts and read profanity. All of this because of someone who endured or is enduring misfortune and the very people, family or friend they thought would be there is not. They became a non-priority. The loss of support is painful, sometimes as painful as the original issue at heart.
Know that your silence can hurt. In the worst case scenario, it can kill. You can walk away with no misgiving, no guilt, at least for the moment. But is there a price you pay, we all pay, for your silence? Are you impeding the growth of those around you when they need you the most? Could the best lessons in life be learned through the very folks you are shutting out? I could make a case for yes, they are. Your silence is deafening but by not listening, you are stunting your own growth. And they, God willing, will continue to grow.
Silence can be rigid and unforgiving and black instead of golden.
Special thank you to a few recent friendships that had a great deal of input and influence in this blog. You all know who you are! I am blessed to have you in my life. Those that choose to have you in theirs are as well. Those that don't, I think we can all agree, this blog is reflective of them.