I'm not who I was.
Everyone has heard of an awkward silence.
If you are like J, our 7 year-old, any moment of silence is awkward… even if there was no preemptive point in conversation.
Case in point: it was quiet for 2 seconds at soccer practice. She couldn’t handle it 😉
As a parent and an all around hypersensitive human being, I can certainly attest to the truth that sometimes, silence is golden… particularly if the lack thereof is being replaced by nothing but meaningless racket.
When it comes to humanity, however, silence can be a whole lot of other things…. uglier things.
It’s no secret that we have a heart for being a voice for those who can’t be a voice for themselves. We have a heart to see the end of slavery and the end of voluntary death of the unborn. We have a heart for adoption. (If you are new here, we adopted Cheeks domestically when he was just under a month old). And we also have a heart for helping to keep a biological family unit in tact where that is healthy and possible. Child sponsorship is one way that we can do that.
Silence can be depersonalizing. On many occasions, I’ve heard people, NICE people whom I dearly love, tell me about how they have to tune-out infomercials or pleas for helping the impoverished. It just breaks their hearts too much to hear it, and especially to see it. Why? Because deep down, we know that those faces are real people… people as real you and me. That is somebody’s child, somebody’s sister with human blood pumping through their veins and hunger pains that would put our overindulgent indigestion to shame. We don’t want to know it so we won’t be responsible for a task that is so much bigger than we are. Thus we revert back to our 2-year-old selves and perform the passive/aggressive defense mechanism of clenching our eyes shut and plugging our ears until the source of our discomfort tires of attempting to get its point across. We play ignorant in order to shirk responsibility. Or we convince ourselves that we can’t help it, and we feel justified.
I’ve done it, many times. And I’m certain I’m not the only one. In this case, silence speaks volumes of where our hearts lie. It is deafening.
Dare I say, silence can be sinful. “So it is a sin for the person who knows to do what is good and doesn’t do it.” James 4:17 (HCSB)
For when I have sinned in my silence, I am deeply sorry.
Oftentimes, sorry isn’t enough.
One of my favorite shows for Cheeks right now is “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”. They always have simple little snippets of song to help emphasize the moral of each episode. For today, the song stated “Saying I’m sorry is the first step. Then ask, how can I help?”
Too often, we stop at the first step. Please don’t stop there.
Meet Lorena. She lives in the Dominican Republic.
We were but teenagers when those little eyes on the left pierced our hearts and we picked up Lorena’s packet at the Compassion table at a youth event many moons ago. That adorable little girl has now grown into the beautiful young woman on the right. She is EIGHTEEN, ya’ll. We have been sponsoring her for about half of my life. Our hearts so much desire to meet her. We pray for her with our own children every night before bed. It is a blessing to hear updates from her and to know how we can more personally pray for her family, and it is quite surreal when she writes us letters telling us how cute our own children are. She is a treasure in our hearts.
Partnering with Compassionis just one way that our hearts have been prompted to help.
Don’t be afraid to prayerfully reach beyond the apology and ask how you can help. Furthermore, make sure you are obedient to the answer. Don’t keep silent. Lives depend on it.