“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.” Genesis 1:1-3
I wonder before God created all things and everything was empty and void, was there utter silence? Was His voice what changed that previous silent, yet deafening reality?
There’s a quote that I stumbled on to recently by Jeff Hood stating: “Distance doesn’t separate people…silence does.” I do believe that in silence there can be things communicated through non-verbal cues and even touch. But in essence, when there is no communication or interaction shared between people, there is great loss, misunderstanding, confusion, and emptiness – separation.
Silence has been a close friend of mine for a very long time.
When I was growing up I didn’t feel that I had a safe place to share all that I experienced concerning attractions and my sexuality. It didn’t help that I would constantly feed the silence by putting on the mask that everything was great, perfect, and put together. At a young age, I past my audition and was self-cast to play the principal role on the heterosexual religious stage of life built for me. I learned the lines to this script masterfully. There was no way that you would’ve known that I was new to the stage. This show not only fooled others to have no idea of the internal storm brooding, but also even me. This character became who I thought I was and silence became the important supporting role to my story. Anytime a desire or attraction or thought would surface toward a male, silence would be right by my side in an instant. Silence gave me the strength needed to carry on and what I owe my success to concerning my acting career.
Have you ever played whack-a-mole? Those annoying moles keep popping up, faster and faster as the game progresses. Eventually, it reaches the speed to where you look quite ridiculous flailing at the attempt to keep the moles unexposed. My experience has been exactly like this! Pressing down emotions, desires, attractions, and questions will only get you so far. Eventually, things get out of control and you look ridiculous! Silence then no longer is your friend but an enemy.
Silence needs to fall! (anyone catch this tv show reference???)
The church must be brave enough to re-write the script. The world definitely doesn’t mind talking about masturbation, homosexuality, physical inadequacies, erections, physical touch needs, and the like. When you read this list, did you squirm on the inside? Can you even read it out loud? What do you feel if you did? Shame? Did you blush? Or was it too difficult for you to read it out loud? Or is silence still a main actor in your script?
The church needs to be a safe place where topics such as these and experiences can be understood and shared. Alot of times, the outward behavior isn’t really the issue; rather it’s the message and heart behind it that’s the real driving factor. The best thing that ever happened to me was befriending a man(in my late 20s) in which I could finally share ANYTHING in this way with. It took time for me to believe it, but eventually I learned that no matter what I shared, I would never be shamed or judged. This was the first friendship ever in my life that I experienced this level of trust and understanding. One time in particular sticks out to me as a key moment. We had just finished getting lunch together and our time was just about to end as we both departed to get back to our busy lives. While sitting in his car, there was a moment of silence. And then I said it…something that I never had said out loud before…
“I’m attracted to men and I think _______ is really attractive!”
After a second of awkward silence, we both exploded with laughter. Even to the point where I was crying from laughing so hard. The religious spirit would rise up and say, don’t say that! That’s sin! You better repent or God will get you! It’s wrong to talk about this and is only going to open up the door to more temptation! But breaking the silence and sharing this actually broke the power of it and of shame. We didn’t really talk more about it because in that moment, all I needed was a friend that I could share my reality with. Exposing this instead of keeping it silent and within, actually helped me and strengthened me. Silence was broken and now our friendship was strengthened as well. My friend grew in the knowledge of who I am deep down. Being known deeper and being loved there was a powerful truth that I now take with me that translates with my walk with God all the time.
Church, we need to understand and hear people and their experiences and not let silence have it’s spotlight any longer. In creation, God broke the silence by speaking, and then there was light! What if the manifestation of light in people’s lives, like seeing more of who God is and seeing people walk in freedom and joy is dependent on us breaking the silence? What if there is so much in God’s heart still that He desires to create and bring new life into for an individual…but it’s remaining void and empty because we allow silence to reign there in others?
SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE – LEAVE A COMMENT
Have you experienced the pain and death that silence brings? Have you ever experienced healing and light by breaking the silence? Do you struggle in friendship with trusting others that you can be known? How did you feel when reading the list of topics that the world doesn’t mind talking about?
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