Most days all I want is silence. Of course, this is because there are very few moments in my day that are just that. Silent.
Once the littles are up there is bustle and activity and many a “Moooo-oooommm!” And there’s just noise, y’know? Blowdryers drying, washing machines washing, thuds up the stairs and down the stairs and booms so loud we sometimes take cover when a certain little jumps off the top bunk. There are dishes clattering and chitter chatter happening and that one little foot always kicking against the island at breakfast. These things are all well and good and I thank the Lord for each of them but in the back of my mind there is this place that I long for.
It’s quiet in this place. No background music even to soothe. Just pure and perfect silence. In this place even turning the pages of a book doesn’t make a sound and my breath would never get that whistly thing to it that happens sometimes.
Yet, this one thing that I want so badly is another’s worst nightmare. All over the world (and yes, very likely right where you live) there are people being silenced. Silenced by force. Silenced by shame. Silenced by the very people they thought loved them or silenced by a complete stranger. It’s an all-too-real truth that power and wealth can often taint ones judgement and power and wealth can silence.
I sat on the couch yesterday with mayhem happening all around me. For a moment I dreamed of my silent place. I even asked God when I will have just a bit of silence. He answered me in a way that I wasn’t expecting. Instead of heeding my request and giving me a few moments of what I thought I needed he lay some thoughts on my heart.
The one thing I want most is the very thing that many girls in the world are longing to be freed from. They have been silenced by pimps or trafficking rings or even their families. They are no longer a voice. They are almost no longer considered a person. They simply become a number or a face or an order to be placed on the menu.
To these girls silence is their enemy. Their survival depends on the need to speak, to make some noise, and considering they can’t they need to have others make it for them.
Silence is not beautiful to them. It’s ugly and evil. Silence is not the place they dream of it’s real life nightmares. They don’t pray for silence to come they pray for it to be over.
While I recoil at the noise and try to lock myself away for just a moments peace they yearn to be able to yell at the top of their lungs to be set free. While I scold my boys and remind them to use ‘inside voices’ they have been resigned to having no voice at all.
I’m reminded that we who can be noisy ought to be. We who have a voice need to use it. We who cherish their worst nightmare need to give of ourselves for the sake of those who can’t.
Silence has a new meaning now.