“Why do I always feel like I am being interrupted? I can’t even finish a sentence?!?” The response: “Because you are always talking. No one can get a word in!” Scott, spoken in his best, I love you and I’ll always love you and I can be honest with you because I know you want me to be voice. Dang! He. Is. Right. With social media, we all have a voice about everything. And we keep “talking” and tweeting and blogging. We don’t even know who is listening, but Dang It!, we have something to say! Ironically, I am writing about all this talking on my own blog! But in the last few weeks, I have found myself strangely speechless. I am longing for the right response to the pain our nation is feeling. But I can’t find the words.
Today, I made the long and very painful drive to South Bend, IN, to retrieve Allie from her soccer camp. (Allie: If you choose to go to Notre Dame, a very good and beautiful school, 1) you are on your own for transportation; that drive sucks; 2) you are on your own for tuition; that school is expensive.) I’m post-call today, so I chose to listen to the news instead of music, thinking I’d be more engaged and more likely to stay awake. I scrolled back and forth between CNN, MSNBC, FOX, and NPR on the XM Radio. And I heard sound byte after sound byte of the Republican National Convention; Hillary and Donald; Dallas and Baton Rouge. Anger, aggression, defensiveness. Police and civilians; black and white; the NRA and gun-control lobbyists. Chanting and yelling, tears and wailing, pontification and plain old whining. So. Much. Noise. My mind was racing, somewhat, trying to choose my side, trying to locate my feelings on the issues: Who is right? Why, despite so many discussions with friends and family about these issues, can’t I feel at peace about my position? Why do I feel so unsettled? A few of my friends have been blogging and tweeting and posting about the issues, but I can’t seem to find the right words. I have remained silent. For once in my life, I don’t have the words. But I do have the pain, the heartache, the sense of loss; indeed, some anger, despair, and hopelessness. What is happening in my sweet country? Why do I have to wake up every morning and hear about more violence and death? Why is evil so present in our lives? I simply have no words.
Romans 8:26 “In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words.” I have no words, because right now, I need no words. I need silence. Right now, it is too much. It is too heavy. I need to look into my own heart, in silence, and let the Spirit speak the words that I have been unable to find. Talking and talking and talking will not chase away the evil that is plaguing us, our families and our friends. Right now, I need to listen. In silence. While I couldn’t agree more with the poignant words spoken by my friends and colleagues, at this moment, I need to listen to the people I encounter who are afraid; who are angry; who are sad; who also can’t find the words. Maybe the answer to the all of the sorrow we are feeling in this moment is not to fill it with noise, but to fill it with silence. To listen.
Maybe the words will come later. But right now, Scott is right…my heart is the warmest, my soul is the calmest, when I fill it all with silence and let the Spirit groan for me where words just aren’t enough.Disclaimer: My viewpoints are not necessarily reflective of my employer, or any local, regional or national organization that I belong to. As a matter of fact, I pretty much just speak for myself. Please keep that in mind.