Monday, May 4, 2009

Sounds of Silence

It's been a quiet week here on the blog. I wish I could say it was some great exercise in self-control, but it wasn't. There was quite simply more pressing matters that drew me away from blogging.

We had a wonderful women's event at our church Saturday afternoon. It was a half day conference/ luncheon. I had the privilege of participating in a couple different ways. I wrote a couple of short skits and got to perform them. We had a rehearsal earlier in the week, I got to work with a sweet girl in our church who I don't know super well, but she's one of those people you don't have to know well to know how precious they are. (I call her a girl but she's probably 28 or so and a married mom of a precious little girl.) We had fun sort of winging it through parts of the process and such. For my first skits they weren't bad, we had fun.

I also got to teach my first ever workshop. As it turns out, I didn't do it any differently than I've done all the Bible studies I've taught. We ended up being a little pressed for time, so I might have made it a little more interactive if we'd had more time, but one thing I really love is the way God filters apparent bumps. Our time constraints changed considerably from originally prepared for, but the Lord always manages to work out the details. For me personally I felt more confident in how the first session went, but I got good feedback from both, which was really nice. It's been a while since I taught, and it was great to experience the faithfulness of the Lord, yet again, in the way He just shows up. I always have total confidence in Him showing up - because I know it's not just me He's faithful to, but to every woman there who is hoping to hear from Him.

I also haven't gotten much work done on my book this week. More silence. I'm in the middle of the 7th chapter. I think I only had 4 last time I mentioned it, and finished the 6th shortly after that. There wasn't much work being done on it this week. I need to get back to it. I've been enjoying it a lot, even nothing ever comes of it. I am going to have to actually go back and reread it to catch up. The creative process is an interesting one, and it's sort of sad when it's silenced. I think I mentioned how the first time I tried to write a book more than a dozen years ago that it was silenced by harsh criticism. It's been a regret for a long time that I never followed through and just gave up instead. Silence of defeat is not a good thing.

We started new Growth Groups this week. It's a change in our midweek service format. We are breaking up into small groups to discuss the previous Sunday's sermon. This week's went really well. We ended up in a different group than we planned but we really liked it. I found myself trying to be more silent than my nature though. I ALWAYS have a lot to say. It's my nature to lead, and I am purposely trying to work on my listening skills in this process. A couple people had asked me if I would be leading a group and the opportunity wasn't actually there. I can't help but wonder if my pastor wasn't considering my shortcomings too. Either way though, silence CAN be a good thing. I'm working on the good silence of giving others room to speak.

There's a situation that has been in the perimeters of my life for quite some time now. It's been hard for me, it's hard to watch people I care about hurting. I have tried hard to remove myself from the situation to the best of my ability. Even though I have been wrongly accused otherwise, I have chosen not to talk about the situation. Yesterday it came visiting me. I found out from an outside party that I have been slandered. I already knew that was the case, but I have left it to the Lord. This person who heard the things spoken against me chose to defend me without asking me first because she felt she knew me well enough to do so in confidence. It felt good to know that the Lord would use someone to defend me. I heard things I didn't care too, hard things, but I choose to continue to keep quiet on the matter. It's the faith of silence.

Yesterday I found myself drawn into a debate where I felt like I could not remain silent. There are a lot of topics these days that due to the political climate we live in, it's dangerous to hold certain opinions. The thing about it is, sometimes silence can be a dangerous thing. I think the bullying towards silence in the body of Christ is bringing about compromise. People are afraid to speak the word of God because it isn't well received. I don't know if the compromise is even realized at times by those who are making it, which in a lot of ways makes it even more dangerous. People think they are doing something good by being inclusive, and I believe the body should be inclusive of people, but not of sin. And changing what you call sin, to "choice" or "lifestyle" doesn't change what it really is. I realize I'm being vague. I'm not sure how much I want to share for the sake of consideration to the one I am currently in discussion with, the debate isn't quite over. I guess you could call that the reflection of silence.

Another place I have chosen not to be silent in the last week is in the fight to save the jobs of a group of young people I know who work for the City. Budget cuts are coming after kids' programs in my town again, and it's not only going to hurt the children, but a lot of great young people are out of work because of it. I've been doing my best to speak out a lot on the topic, building a blog, making flyers, talking to parents. It's been a definitive rejection of silence, along the lines of "evil prospers when good men do (say) nothing." Granted it doesn't really qualify as "evil," but the concept still holds true. Hmmm... that could apply very specifically about the issues with the church though.

Well, I'm hoping for some greater inspiration so that the silence of the blog will have come to an end. I also hope the book silence will be ending too. I hope the other silences are led by the Lord, respected when they should be, exercised in wisdom, broken when necessary.

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