Dec 4, 2009

the mystery of silence

king david certainly knew what he was talking about when he crafted together the 32nd psalm. he speaks of the relentless grip silence has upon the pulse of human life.

"when i kept silent my bones wasted away."

what a mystery the art of silence is. we are taught to be still and know that god is god. there are stories written concerning the voice of god existing in the quietness of a whisper. and in a world exploding with noise the heart of human desire is for a space in which we can unravel our toiled souls in the comfort of silence. how can psalm 23 create a portrait of life that is fostered by the quietness when just 9 chapters later our pathetic understanding towards silence is utterly shredded by the anguish of david's wasting bones. silence brings death. silence delivers life. does this makes sense to anyone?

i have been recognizing the life that comes when i choose to speak out. my natural tendency is to remain silent and tip-toe my way through life with wildflowers in my hair, twirling in and out of experiences while waving my glittery wand of idealism. to share with others the truth of what lies behind my twinkled eyes and bushy tail rarely takes precedence over delivering the typical response of 'all is well'! for the past couple of months my heart has been suffocating underneath the dark challenge of transitioning back into midwest culture. reverse culture shock is a bitch to navigate and the loneliness that inevitably lingers in every paramount life transition has manifested itself in distorted and ugly ways. and it is this bout of depression i have been drowning in that the mystery of silence presents itself as my oars of salvation. in search of something life-giving i was drawn to a poem i had written for a sermon on the 32nd psalm given on ash wednesday during the lenten season last year.

ash wednesday selah
my bones
they are wasting away
the sin
of my soul
is too hideous to reveal.
in silent hiding
i must remain.
but dare i
the veiled ugliness?
day and night
your hand
it is so heavy
crushing, pressing down
upon me.
the strength
of my flesh wilts
as in the heat
of summer's sun.
all day long
groaning seeps from
every fiber of my being.
this pain is too great.
but dare i
the veiled ugliness?
my eyes
grow weaker still
with the sorrow and grief
that consumes me.
the affliction
of my heart
crushes the spirit
brokenhearted i remain
alone, cold, and anguished.
but dare i
acknowledge the veiled ugliness?
untiring hands
stretch forth
in the emptiness of my night.
again i refuse
your comfort to my soul
it is easier here
the familiarity of sin
has become a companion.
my silence
strengthens its deceptive
but dare i
the veiled ugliness?
forsaken i have become
who can save me?
the pain
of my loneliness
strangles the light
holding me hostage
as a prisoner of inequities.
the troubles of
my heart
have conceived and filled
my life with despair.
there is only silence.
but dare i
the veiled ugliness?

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