As a child I learned a terrible secret; when things in the home were tense, safety was found in running silent - unseen, unheard, moving noiselessly like a shadow around the giants fighting around me, I could keep my sanity and avoid detection. It was my own secret strategy for survival, and it worked - to a degree, but left a terrible imprint on my character and instincts that I have yet to fully shed. Like most phobias and destructive habits picked up in childhood, running silent as a coping strategy grew into a way of life and stance for everything important. Silence is golden, but silence when my voice is needed to be heard is positively ruinous.
But it need not be that way; Paul, tempted to run silent in Corinth, received instead the wisdom of Christ in a nighttime vision: "Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city." (Acts 18: 9-10)
We know as followers of Jesus, we've been called to go & make disciples, which of course means that at some point, we must actually speak - tell - the good news. So why are we - why am I - so silent
instead, so content to wait for the spiritually superior & put together to speak the message? I think it comes from being so alone, so isolated. It's a truism that Americans are a lonely people, living right on top of each other and yet so isolated. I think (at least for me) the root of my silence is fear and loneliness, two things that Jesus spoke strongly to Paul about; first, He himself was there with Paul, because, second, "I have many people in this city." When we really determine to live connected to the rest of the "body of Christ" - the church - then Jesus has people He can speak rebuke, reproof and encouragement to us through as the Word of God dwells richly in us (Col. 3: 16). So why so silent? Could it be that I - and perhaps even you - are secretly convinced that we really are left on our own to figure things out, resulting in silence, running scared and alone, afraid to let others see our vulnerabilities for fear of ridicule and shame? May I - and you - find the power to rest in Gods thoughts towards us (Psalm 139:17) that we might speak to those who are waiting to hear good news.