“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides.”
I wanted to say something.
I truly did.
I wanted to find words of eloquence. With empathy and compassion. Prayers that would express the groaning of my spirit. To speak truth and love and foster conversation that led to real answers. Maybe that spurred action. Positive, humanity-loving action. I wanted to cry with victims and be able to share in their grief, though I may look and sound and hold beliefs that are different than theirs. I wanted to be seen as an embracing “us”, instead of a finger-pointing “you” and “me”.
I’ve watched the news reports. I’ve read Twitter and Instagram posts along with you, where city names are now linked to those news reports with trending hashtags. I’ve been shaking my head too. With my hands trembling. Jaw dropping. Breath stolen. Eyes tearing. Not knowing how to explain this brokenness to my children.
I’ve felt my heart bleeding this week — bleeding to speak…
But the stakes are high, so I stayed silent.
The likelihood that I’d misspeak and my words could be construed as insensitive was too much of a risk for me. Would my insensitivity go viral? Would my photo and the prejudices of coloring, belief, religion, or my voice be blasted on social media, and my witness destroyed? Would friends, family, readers, sisters and brothers in the faith turn away? I was afraid to toss my hat in the ring, never having spoken about current events, news, politics and the like on a social platform I had. “That’s not me”, I’d say. “That’s not who I am as an author. That’s not my place.” So I backed into a corner. Saying prayers and speaking love from inside the security of my home. Having the deep conversations only in the smallest places of my world — in private prayers and heart-discussions where there was an enormous level of trust.
I wanted to say I’m sorry for my silence.
As a Christian. As a Caucasian. As a woman. As a sinner. As a totally imperfect mess of a human who is broken at times. Seeking at times. Writing with words at times when they feel so terribly inadequate. As someone who has been silent at times.
I wanted to say that I care. My silence wasn’t apathy — far from it!
To me, it was respect. It was rooted in love. And longing for peace. And may God help me — fear, that if I couldn’t find the right words – (words that would heal and not harm) – and if you saw a photo of me and couldn’t believe that I could have an opinion on race, or religion, or politics, or orientation, or _______ that would come from a place of love and understanding where your heart is, then I didn’t want to say anything at all.
Then I couldn’t say whether I’ll shop at Target. Or which lives matter. Or which side of the political fence my shoes tread. Or how I’ll vote. Or how I’ll worship. Or how I’ll love.
I wanted to help — not harm.
I wanted to say that I’m grateful, that I have been embraced by friends and family and strangers too, who hold different beliefs. Who don’t label me as white. Or blonde. Or female. Or straight. Or American. Or Right-wing. Or Christian… and associate hate with any of those things.
I wanted to say that I don’t understand the place you’re coming from, but I truly, truly want to.
I wanted to say that the lives lost this week — they matter. The conversation matters. The love matters. YOU matter. The brokenness and the grief — they matter to God’s heart. For His is bleeding too.
In the Greek, the New Testament has (9) different words to define BROKEN:
That’s (9) words to express:
- Or, a crushing together.
- A splintering into pieces.
- A mauling, a release, a dissolution, a breaking off and a tearing down.
- A shattered and brought to the point of birth. Because that’s what BROKEN is. It’s a crushing together. Not one spirit or one heart — it’s together. We’re together. It’s putting an end to the old and birthing a new version of ourselves out of the shattered moments.
No matter what words we say, what words we don’t say, what we’re brave enough to proclaim, what we’re too scared to confront… the (9) types of BROKEN in our world right now are creating a new version of ourselves.
The videos of shootings? I’m made different by them. The Pain? The grief? The fear and loss and death and God help us… the words we don’t say?
They. Have. BROKEN. Me.
They have mauled. And released. And dissolved. And broken off to tear down. They’ve shattered me and yes, they’ve brought me to the point of birth of a new version of who I am.
This website is for a Christian author. She blogs from time to time. She writes books that she hopes will inspire or entertain. She’s white. She’s a wife. A mom. A routinely failing and falling follower of Jesus. She’s straight. She’s praying about her vote. She’s scared to throw her hat in the ring, to confront the words that keep her silent: Race. Religion. Left. Right. Prejudice. Judge. Fear. Failure. Death. Sin….
When all the time, she’s so desperately wanted to say SOMETHING.
Elie Wiesel passed on July 2, 2016.
His account of the Holocaust in the book, Night — it BROKE me.
It’s changed me so many times. It defined every one of those (9) words for BROKEN within the heart beating in my chest. Just like this week has. Or this month. Or this year…
I want to get past the fear. To get over myself. To do so many somethings! To get past the point of living for myself. I want to use my hands and feet and heart and words in any platform I have to speak the love of Christ. To take those (9) words for BROKEN and turn them into every single definition of LOVE.
Please forgive me in advance if I refuse to stay silent. It’s not politics or news you’ll get here on this page. But beyond my love of art, and story, and books, and vintage, and verse mapping, and faith… we’ve got to start using our words for LOVE. And I plan to, because that’s what I wanted to say.
In Jesus’ Name,