No one I know would ever say that I don’t have enough words to express my joy, my frustrations and even my anger. I am passionate about people. I am passionate about words. I am passionate about communication, about hearing others and being heard. And yet there are so many relationships where the silence is deafening and every day that goes by, the wounds get deeper and more painful. To the one that is being silent, maybe it is how he/she is bent. Maybe that’s how God made them. But the person on the receiving end of silence lives in a place of woundedness. A place of pain.
For years I was married to a quiet man. That’s one of the things I enjoyed about him. I enjoyed his ability to quiet himself, to listen, to hear. But like many relationships, long-lasting relationships, life happens and people get hurt. People get wounded. In our life together things were happening, and my husband got quieter and quieter. Me in my noisiness, I didn’t understand the distance that seemed to creep in between us and after more than 20 years, the silence became deafening. It was painful for me in the silence. It was like living in a dense cloud. I no visibility and I didn’t understand how we got there. I still don’t understand it.
I didn’t really get it while I was in the midst of it. While living in it day after day, year after year. It was painful, but it was our life. Last night I had the opportunity to watch a movie, “The Good Shepherd” with Matt Damon. His wife Angelina Jolie married him or maybe it is more accurate to say he married her. She was pregnant and he wanted to do the right thing. The problem is that it was more than 6 years before they actually lived as husband and wife because of his job. As a result, distance between them crept in. They never really grew together and the busier he got, the quieter he got, the more distance crept in between them. And she, his wife became a walking wounded. Can you relate?
As I was traveling to church, I pondered their relationship with the Lord. It was too close to home for me to ignore, and I wanted some insight. The Lord said to my heart, “the woundedness is in the silence.” Silence means forbearance from speech or noise. But let’s unpack the word forbearance. Forbearancemeans a refraining from the enforcement of something that is due. Did you catch that? If you are in relationship with others, whether it is in marriage, family, work, and even friendship, you are responsible to speak, to communicate with the other person or people. It is due them. You are obligated to speak, to communicate. The power of life and death is in the tongue, so what you say matters. “Silence is deadly”. Silence will kill any relationship. So speak life! Say what you need to say. Share what is hurting, or what you don’t like, or what you need, or don’t need but speak! Trust me healing for the relationship will come as you life the relationship by giving the relationship, the person what is due them… your words!