This is a week where all three of us had originally committed to writing on Pentecost, but considering the weather events in Moore and Granbury over the last couple of weeks we naturally have our thoughts lingering in other places. The tornado in Granbury hit the town that I called home for the last six years before moving to Fort Worth and the Moore disaster is Trevor’s hometown and Allen’s soon to be home in the next few weeks. So, understand our thoughts are a little consumed with these communities right now.
And, much has been written and “tweeted” over the last few weeks responding to these tragedies. And I guess all of us feel compelled to respond or speak to what we feel is true about these situations.
Writers are gonna write. Theologians are gonna theologize. Jerks will be jerks.
Sadly, the internet is an unfiltered and boundary-free way for the above to express themselves – most often at a whim.
Human emotion is a torrent, a wave of reactions and justifications giving birth to angels or monsters. These emotions are given to us by God to survive, defend, and live. We need these emotions.
Yet, the tools at our fingertips that express these emotions make us quite dangerous. Our tongues turn into fingers striking a keyboard sending our thoughts into the nether regions of 1’s and 0’s for complete strangers in unrelated contexts to interpret and digest.
We react, react to reactions, and find ourselves consumed with feeling like we should defend or support certain interpretations of these storms. Our thoughts turn to God and scripture and we want to make those our words to use for comfort or justification.
This is where I find so much power in the quiet. When we calm and silence ourselves we can start to see where God is at work in the midst. Even after Job’s friends sat for days in silence, they still seemed like fools trying to explain why God would let this happen. In fact at the end, God tells them to be quiet so he could speak.
How long should we stay quiet? I’m not sure. But it seems to me during times like this, our words have a better likelihood of betrayal than the simple work of our hands and feet bringing us down to our knees.
So this week before you post or tweet, spend some time in the quiet of your heart looking for where God is in all of this. Take those words off the screen and into your hands and feet finding ways to bring God into these disasters.
This might be a week where your silence could be louder than any words you could say.
Let’s hear your silence.