I’ve been quiet. It’s been a little while, but I just haven’t written. As I’ve been challenged about this, it’s led me to think a bit. When I’m asked why I’ve been silent, I’ve replied that there are just too many voices. This world is rough right now. It seems as if life has turned upside down. Some days it seems like there’s no end in sight. We are living through a global pandemic, the earth is amiss with floods, storms, tornadoes, fires, and even hurricanes, (Plural!) people are struggling in this difficult economy, unemployment is at a record breaking high (at least where I live), AND it’s an election year.
So, there are a lot of voices. Some are very loud. Some voices express concern. Some condemn. Some create panic or stir up controversy. Some people just pass on the information of others, whether it happens to be true or not. So much noise. Funny, it’s easier for me to notice the noise right now. Collectively, we had a little time to slow down. In March, when we began to see stay at home orders, people stayed in, listened, looked out for one another. We spent more time with our families. We weren’t rushing from place to place because there was no where to go. We baked bread. We shared with those in need. We looked after our neighbors who were out of work or furloughed. We put hearts in our windows and did TikTok dances with our kids. We zoomed with our parents. We started gardens. Not all of this slowed down life has been a bad thing.
But now? Now some of us have had enough. We’re tired. No, we’re weary. That deep down tired that makes you think that you just can’t face another day. We’re tired of wearing masks, and we’re tired of people who don’t wear masks. We’re tired of zoom and e-everything and no sports and closed restaurants. We’re tired of people and at the same time can’t get enough of them. We missed out on graduations and celebrations and fireworks. For the love, we just want one good, fun backyard BBQ. One birthday party where everyone is yelling and you can’t wait for them to leave but you hold them close for a big hug before they do. One dinner with friends where you eat off a charcuterie board and heaven forbid people touch things with their bare, unsanitized hands.
We’re grieving, too. And anxiety abounds. All these things make us cranky. Like children who haven’t napped well, we get a little irritable. We lash out or say things we don’t mean. We’re quick to judge. We just want things to be better, so we share our opinions with everyone, whether they want to hear it or not.
But here’s where I’ve been challenged. In the midst of all the voices clamoring for our attention, we need to listen for that still, small voice. We need to care more about that voice than any other. The voice of discernment. The voice of unconditional love. The voice of wisdom. The voice of courage. The voice of the Lord that says, “You are worthy.”
When a friend told me that my voice points her to God’s voice I realized that I can no longer be quiet. I can no longer let my voice get swallowed up by the anger and mean spirited assaults on social media. I can’t give up and give in because people will listen to the squeakiest wheel. I may not be the squeakiest wheel, but I want to be one who, by God’s grace, brings you closer to the throne and not farther. A voice that leads you to peace. A voice that shares how we can practice loving our neighbor. A person that leads by example, shares the truth, and shows you what it means to love the least of these.
So, here I am. Ready to begin again. Ready to refresh and point the way to the One who makes all things new. The God who loves you unconditionally. I have no need or desire to tell you how I feel about racism or politics or elections or Covid. I just want to use my voice to point you toward the truth. Truth about who you are, truth about who God is. I want to spend time reflecting on how everyone is made in his image and therefore worthy of the same dignity, respect, and love. Let’s spend the next few days and weeks caring about others, loving our neighbor, and making the world a better place.
Let’s pledge to use our words wisely, to grow together, and to point others toward the truth. Will you join me?