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,
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!