In these days following the horror of the shootings in Arizona, I have been almost paralyzed: surely there have been too many words, but there has also been too much silence.
Too many words in the face of devastation demands our silence:
- a grieving silence, too deep for words
- a thoughtful silence, pondering in our hearts what these thing can mean
- a respectful silence, without presuming to know what the first circle of loved one are experiencing
- an attentive silence to the wisdom that may emerge from the constellation of events
- a prayerful silence: Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison.
However, too much silence in the face of devastation demands our words:
- words of consolation and comfort to the mourning ones
- words of gentleness and encouragement to the waiting and watching ones
- words of praise and gratitude for the helping ones
- words of truth-telling to those whose power can make a difference in limiting possibility for future disasters
- words that exemplifies the kind of speech that makes for peace, for harmony, for wholeness; from Colossians–“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt…”
And so as we continue to mourn, to hope, to work for mercy and justice in our human systems, I am challenged to once again be mindful of what I say, and how I say it, when I say it and to whom. Right along side that I am reminded to keep silent when the time is right, paying ever so much attention to the Wisdom from Above who can put words in my mouth or put a seal over my lips.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O God, my rock and my redeemer.