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12.17.2012

THE POWER OF SILENCE


I don't really want to weigh in on the Connecticut school killings.  There has been enough of that done.   I haven't been able to find adequate words to, a) figure it out or categorize something that big, b) give voice to emotions that are too heavy for words and deserve the power of silence, and c) try to deduce it down to a solution to prevent its repetition in our society again or a reason that caused its occurrence on Friday, December 14, 2012.

Grief is a horrific thing.  If you are new to this blog, read my post from December 9, 2010 entitled, "She Weeps".  Grief is so immense, so inconsolable, so suffocating that we think we will not survive it.  I can think of nothing as emotionally and physically consumptive that life brings than grief.  It is also very personal and requires a lot from us. 

It is said in the Bible that when Job's losses were so great his friends literally just sat next to him in silence.  Job sat covered in mourning ashes unable to even remove himself from the pile of ashes.  The significance of that is huge.  That kind of pain, that kind of loss cannot be disturbed with words.  It needs quiet. 

We can actually feel the deep pain and sorrow of others.  And although we are unable and incapable of bringing the loss back, easing the pain or speeding up time to create healing space, we can sit on the ash heap with them.  We can sit beside them, giving much needed silence as their heads and hearts are already a chaotic mixture of emotions and thoughts.  Words just add to the overload and swirl.

It seems that some in our culture scold the media for their up close coverage of events such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.  I get that.  It seems that even though we are a highly connected media driven society, grief is so personal, so intimate that we forget that maybe privacy should be given.  Yet we want to know the hows, the whys, the answers, so we seek information from the very platform we criticize for too much coverage.

There was a time in history when a funeral procession was en route that other drivers pulled over, got out of their cars, took off their hats and bowed their heads in respect as the processional drove past.  Silence is powerful.  It is a respecter of tragedy, pain and anguish. 

No sense can be had of most tragedies in life.  They are neither punishment or nor are they acts of God.  They are not easily, readily or willingly understood most of the time.

My only understanding in all of life, perplexing and heart breaking times especially, is that God created us, loves us powerfully, feels what we feel and weeps with us as a parent weeps over a child.  His unmovable presence sits with us on the ash heap feeling our pain. 

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