Friday, June 30, 2006


And in the naked light I saw/
Ten thousand people, maybe more.

People talking without speaking/
People hearing without listening/
People writing songs that voices never share/
And no one dare
Disturb the sound of silence.

"Fools" said I, "You do not know -
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you."
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
And echoed
In the wells of silence
- Sound of Silence, Simon & Garkfunkel

These lines come from one of my all-time favorite songs ever. I get goosebumps every single time I hear it. In fact, the first time I heard it I was laying in bed at my dad's house. We were visiting him for the summer. I think I was about 11 or 12. I had tuned the little clock/radio to an oldies station to help me go to sleep. This song came on, and even though I was almost asleep, my eyes flew open and I literally fell out of bed. I was trying to get out of the bed to turn up the radio and got tangled up in the waterbed sheets. Then I fell out of bed. But I still got to the radio and turned it up so I could hear it better. I've been in love with Simon & Garfunkel's music ever since.

Anyway, I was listening to this song at work today, and these stanzas really struck me. They made me think of Jesus, and faith. It seems our society wants us to talk about everything. We have talk radio, television talk shows, we have cell phones so we can talk to each other more, VoIP phone plans so we can talk cheaper. But what are we talking about? It can't be faith! Oh, no! That's soooo passe. Talk to much about religion and faith, and those around you start looking for the nice men with white jackets to come take you away. We're doing all this talking, but we aren't talking about the important things. We aren't talking about Jesus. We aren't talking about what our families, friends, neighbors and even enemies need. They need prayer. But all we talk about is ourselves. We're so programmed to talk about ourselves, that we don't seem to know how to listen to someone else. And we're so programmed to talk only about certain subjects, that we're afraid to break the silence covering the important things.

If I don't talk to my neighbor about my faith, then he gets the impression that he can't talk to me or his other neighbors about faith. And so it does spread, because we're afraid to seem weird to everyone else. I'm not saying we should go out and attack anyone who has a different faith from our own. I'm not saying we should run up to someone and order them to convert to your beliefs. But I am saying the silence is spreading - it will keep spreading until the ones to suffer the most are our children's children.

See, I'm still working on that book I'd been talking about from my bible study class. I didn't get to go to bible study tonight because I was helping a new friend. She's my friend K-'s daughter, and she's in almost exactly the same shoes I was in a few years ago (except she still has her mom). She's a single mom struggling desperately in a dead-end job for which she is way too smart! But what she wants is to go back to school. However, she wasn't aware of all the financial aid opportunities there are, so she assumed college was out of reach. This is what single-motherhood does to you - it makes you feel very small, with a very large load on your shoulders alone. The load becomes so large you cannot see around it, unless someone comes along and says "Sweetie, can I help you with that for a minute and show you a few things?" I really think it was meant for me to talk to her, because R-'s life sounds SOOO much like mine used to be. So I went and helped her file her FAFSA and online application for school and such. She wants to go to a 2-year program, so the deadlines aren't until August.

Anway, I digress. As I was saying - our children's children will suffer for our silence. If they don't hear about faith, the Word and Jesus, how will our children know to trust Him? If they are afraid to speak about that huge hole in their hearts without Jesus, how will they try to fill it? The author of the book we're studying, "This isn't the life I signed up for" has an interesting take on life and happiness. She says she knows her life isn't going to be wonderful and perfect. But she wants to keep spreading the Word and doing God's will so that her children's children's children will have more blessed lives. That's a long-reaching vision that can be hard for an instant-gratification society. I'll be the first to admit that I want what I want NOW. But, I'm studying how to be patient and to keep speaking AND listening.

I still don't know why it seemed God was sending me here to Texas. I may never know - He may never see fit to tell me. Just like I have no idea what else he has in store for me. It's like another book we've talked about in Sunday school (I keep meaning to get it, but haven't found it yet.) It's called "Why He's God and You're Not". Seems pretty simplistic, but we all forget sometimes that we're not God. We cannot control everything in the universe. While I wrestle with this truth, I'll keep my heart, soul and ears open. And if my mouth is open, I'll try to make sure my voice is sharing my songs of faith. Words do no good written on a page and locked in the dark. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather be in The Light!


ann said...

2 Corinthians 4:6 "For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."

(one of my favorite verses on darkness/light)

This is a good thought you're having.

I went to a mini conference on Persecution in the worldwide Christian church, led by a man (who shall remain nameless) who has traveled to 60 countries interviewing persecuted Christians (including in the middle East, China, Northern Africa, etc). This is a man who has heard of (and even seen) horrors we can never imagine, and who doesn't take persecution lightly. He told us that the worst persecution that exists is what is keeping others from knowing about Jesus Christ--not suffering for Jesus, but hiding Him. Silence.

Tooz said...

When some of us were little children, we used to sing a song, "Hide it under a bushel, no! I'm gonna let it shine!" I wish more of us were letting our lights shine. Love to some who are, and prayers for those who don't have lights yet.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Seems mine is sometimes very dim, but I'm working hard to let it shine with all its strength!

Love to you and all other members (biological and honorary) of Clan Meadors!

and Lydia - PYFU!

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Okay... There's waaaaaaaaay too much silence on my blog about silence. Come on, folks. Did everybody just forget how to use a computer over the weekend, or what? Even if you just say "Hi", that would be nice!

Tooz said...

Hi, Jennifer. Looks like Ann and Lydia have been traveling. I have no idea what Becca's excuse is. Love you.

Tooz said...

and the sound of silence-----Bubba ought to be back by now.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Thank you, Tooz, for writing. I was beginning to think my blog was malfunctioning or something!

Got the car. I'll be posting about it shortly!!!

love and hugs

Suze said...

Hi Jenn, I'm traveling, too, so I haven't been online a lot. I'm not sure what to think about this, so that's another reason I haven't commented yet.

I'll be honest; I get really uncomfortable when people start talking to me about their faith. That's mainly because I find the subject to be a private and personal thing for me, and every time I'm approached about it, it's by people who assume that I think the same way they do, or that if I don't, I need to be convinced. It feels intrusive to me.

I guess when you really believe in something you want to share it, though. I can understand it to some level. I, for instance, feel very strongly about issues surrounding social justice and gay rights and I feel like I'm always sharing my opinions whether people ask for it or not...

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

You can share your opinions with me anytime you want to Suze. My brother is the same way you are about faith, too. So I completely understand where you're coming from. But that is different from what I was talking about. Your silence on the subject is do to the personal-ness of your faith. Others sometimes keep the silence because they feel society demands it of them (kind of like how society tries to demand that we sweep such things as racism, sexism, sexism, hate crimes, etc. under the rug and treat that with silence too). My whole point was, if we allow society to tell us to keep silent on the important things, then how will there every be any change.

Love ya, and have fun!