The Violence of Silence

I've been thinking about this a lot today, about the different ways silence can damage people.

A friend of mine is not "out" to all of her family. My own dear Mr. M is only now learning that he has a voice worth listening to. In both cases, my reaction is, "How can you feel loved if you don't feel known?" It breaks my heart that so many don't feel safe being open, being themselves.

Of course, that's not the only damaging silence. I think of how many of us come from families who have hurt us, and then told us that we don't talk about family things with other people. How many women have been abused, but too ashamed to seek support and affirmation.

As far as I can tell, speaking truth in love is the most healing thing we can do for one another. We're not helping our kids when we shelter them. We're not helping those who hurt when we pretend we've never been through hard times.

It's looking to me like ministering is going to be a vunerable profession, because truth has to come from our own bruised, tender places.

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"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins