February 15, 2009

The Art of Quiet

I really don't know when it happened, but without knowing it my mouth was shut. Not really by my own will {no conscious effort whatsoever} I was hushed in conversation, silenced in dialog, and left staring blankly at the glowing screen before me. For those of you that don't know me very well you probably haven't noticed much, but the rest of you I'm sure must have. I'm not nearly as outspoken as I once was. That might come as a shock to some of you, but I used to have a lot to say {understatement of the year}. I had an opinion about everything. My two cents jar was rapidly making me a rich man. But something has changed in me & whether or not that is for the better I really don't know yet. 

It's not that I have nothing to say. Oh contrar, I have more subject matter swelling my brain these days than ever before. And for once in my life my words have a little more merit behind them. But some great heart spasm has simply told me "NO, time to be quiet. Silence your tongue & just wait." For what we wait, my tongue and I, I do not know...

Yet amid the stillness I have begun to learn some things. Mostly things about myself and how I wish to live. Yes LIVE, as in flesh and blood and sweat and tears...not in thought and theory, idea and concept. Ever since coming back to the United States form Afghanistan life just seems a little more meaningful. As if the things I do {not so much the things I say} are what really coexists with the rest of creation. For in all honesty, simply talking about the poor, oppressed, displaced and lonely or crossing all my theological T's & I's, while these things are infinitely important and are the first step in many cases, eventually serve to isolate me from their reality all together. Poor PEOPLE become "poverty". Starving PEOPLE become "hunger". HUMAN BEINGS that are displaced from their homes, made into widows, orphans & refugees, then bombed and bombed and then bombed some more become "collateral-damage". War is what happens "over there". What great tragedy it is to have created "issues" out of human suffering so as to "manage" them {or at least manage our conscience so we don't have to see our contribution to them}. But these are the children of God who are blessed! So this is why my tongue has gone numb I suppose...

Many of us love to quote Francis of Assisi's words "there is no use walking anywhere to preach, unless ones walking is ones preaching." Ironically most of us can't realize the ignorance of even repeating those words as opposed to simply responding to them. I personally have shared them probably a thousand times while sitting comfortably in my privileged-white-suburban-middle-class life. Forgive me our beloved saint...

Thus after a lot of thought I have decided that this silence isn't such a bad thing after all. In fact I think practicing the art of quiet now and then could do us all a great deal of good. So it's with this that I walk out into the world once again...tomorrow we go...again...

1 comment:

Trevor said...

hey there. i remember once saying i was going to try and look into giving money to your group or cause at one point. and i ended up not =/. i just want to say im sorry about that.
i also want to say. that your music and your blog, still,, captures me. makes me think. the world just keeps getting bigger and bigger the more we live in it. the more we realize there's more out there than what is around us. and at the same time small enough that what we do can ripple out and effect the whole world.
i dont know what the point was in me saying that lol
but the main thing. the privileged-white-middle class lifestyle. and you saying forgive me.
i just wana say that,, no matter where you are, who you are, how you grow up, how you end up leaving this world, it doesnt matter. If you were still saying those encouraging wise words to people around you, tho living comfortably or not, you were doing your best at time, and they didnt go unheard. I've realized that God has a time and place for us all, and it comes down to how well we utilize our opportunities to speak to the people around us. I'm sorry if i came off bad in any way, but i got a small sense that maybe u regret parts of your past being raised here in America. everyone is where they are for a reason.

i guess the other reason why i commented on this. and in that way. is because i feel like that so much sometimes. i live here, in a country-ish middle class but middle class nonetheless. and work at a gas station. my does it suck haha. But sometimes it brings up the most amazing opportunities to just "live" Christ. selling beer, cigarettes, a few porno mags. its horrible. i can barely stand how contradicting it is to work there. but there's so many reasons i stay. I see all kinds of people, everyone in the town, from the richest to the bottom of the barrel poorest. people stealing bread. us giving bread away to churches. people buying lighters for crack. making icecream cones for families. The things i see are so shocking. it opened my eyes probably in a similar way traveling and missions did to u. but it made me see whats happening right here first hand in our own town, our own backyard. it made me realize, people everywhere need help, need to find God. Honestly all these people minds as well be in other countries and starving, it wont make any difference in the long run because most will die and go straight to hell to put it bluntly. rather than a physical starvation as in other countries, i see a spiritual starvation here in America.
back to my point. tho its hard selling certain things and seeing so many lost people, it just might be that perfect place for me. for some of these people i might be there only connection to God. i cant just explode the bible to them over the counter but i can try living it in small actions and by helping them as best i can. i hope that i'm planting small seeds of hope in their lives.

i hope somehow all my rambling and my story encouraged you a little bit/gave you something to think about.. or something haha otherwise, thank for at least reading it and letting me vent my feelings
God bless you brother. Keep living it out
- Trevor (What i Would Give)