To the post script of my series on “Is it The Silent Treatment or Emotional Survival”* a commenter responded by acknowledging his own realization of the sometimes call to silence which prompted this next post in my series on leaving Roman Catholicism. May you find your peace today.
Yes, we are called to peace. And rest. And having done all or all that we know, to focus on the “stand,” and to understand that there are some who no matter what is “spoken” are really not, as it may turn out, interested in what we have to say or do.
They just, as it may turn out, want what they want or they don’t want what they don’t want.
Individuals or groups influenced by or subscribing to powers seemingly more potent than all our love and reason or attempts to love and reason might just need face time with their Creator, one on one, without the “distraction,” as it were, of us in their lives.
A literal “come to Jesus,” Who alone has the power to save.
Oh, we help a little here and there, planting seeds and watering, but to God alone the harvest. Maybe literally, in some cases.
I know it had come to just me and God at my point of salvation, and I shudder to think how hardened I had become that it came to that one fragile moment in time.
On the other hand, I rejoice to realize that there is a way for everyone no matter how hardened or cynical.
When another human being is in the way, sometimes it just becomes too distracting for the “other” we hope will change or at least listen.
All the angst of the other hurled at the hopeful maybe really needs to be directed at and resolved with God, Himself. A solo wrestling match with the Redeemer, like Jacob wrestling with the angel…
The tricky part for the hopeful is to know when to decrease in the life of the other so that God can increase.
Thankfully, God’s still small voice booms loud and clear to those listening.
When it was time for me to leave Roman Catholicism (but cognitive dissonance still bound my thought life), for example, it was often the simplest words of truth that helped sever the mind- and emotion-controlling dogmas, one by one, until, like Lazarus finally coming free of the grave windings with help from his friends, I at length walked completely free of that system.
As a fledgling Christian at the start, I wasn’t yet walking in the fullness and strength of a knowledge of the Good News of grace against which, ultimately, there simply is no sufficient power.
But that changed.
And so did I.
Back to the peace to which we are called.
I think sometimes about Jesus facing His accusers at the end of his earthly ministry. He remained silent for most of his “trial.” He knew their hearts, is all. And He knew His mission, of course.
For the rest of us mere mortals who may not really know the heart of the other (or others), or who may assume or presume or fantasize that it is something else, and who constantly wrestle with our own flawed nature which goads us on to try more, be more, love more, repent more, we often come to silence out of desperation or because there are simply no words or actions left.
Thank God that at that point His Spirit speaks loudly enough for us to hear, in that still, small voice that booms “enough.”
The sea is ready to open; the door of the Ark to close; the words from the cross to sound, “It is finished.”
May you walk in His refreshing peace and quiet today.
May your other or others look up and behold their own redemption, nigh.
*Here is my previous post to which the commenter responded:
Post Script: lastly, in this series on the difference between the harmful “silent treatment” and appropriate (emotional) “survival treatment,” this reminder and direction from the book of Ecclesiastes:
(There is) “a time to be silent and a time to speak,” (3:7).
When we face down enemy, we need to discern.
As one preacher noted, sometimes our words accomplish what needs to be done in a fray, but at other times it’s our silence that facilitates resolution.