Paul Simon was right. Hidden amidst the noise that permeates our daily lives – the noise of our appliances, the hum of our computers, traffic noise, telephones, sirens, music, celebrations, protests, news – there is a pernicious silence. No one dares talk of the things that are churning in their heart. It’s just not done, no one wants to hear. We face this invisible barrier – the sound of silence.
Thoughts come silently – “you’re not good enough,” “you don’t matter,” you’ll never make it,” “nobody likes you.” They become voices that echo incessantly in waking moments, in dreams. They can’t be escaped, they are tormenting demons. But everyone has their own demons and they don’t want to hear about yours. Silence like a cancer grows.
There is an epidemic of suicide, no one quite understands why.
What is a Christian to do? The old gospel message doesn’t resonate with people of the 21st century. Some say we need to make it more relevant, make ourselves more relevant, make ourselves heard.
Sure, let’s grab our megaphomes and join our voices to the cacaphony out there. Do you think anyone will hear? Do you think anyone wants to hear what Christians have to say?
Nobody is listening. Not even the Christians. That is the problem. Rather than trying to make ourselves heard, could we try to help others make themselves heard?
Let’s open our hearts, our minds, our ears to hear the words that no one else wants to hear. We’ll hear a lot of stuff that might make us cringe and want to stop our ears, but if we listen long enough someone might trust us enough to show where it really hurts.
And if we can bear to listen, that person might even give us permission to open our mouths and tell of the healing balm of Jesus’ blood.