My Take on Black Lives Matter Sunday

The words Be the Voice Not the Echo as a saying or quote printedSeveral years ago a hymn from my childhood began to take on a new sense of meaning for me.

Give the winds a mighty voice: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Let the nations now rejoice: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Shout salvation full and free; highest hills and deepest caves;
This our song of victory: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Rising up from within my soul was a new awareness – Since the winds have a mighty voice, shouldn’t every human being have opportunity to find and express their voice too! From that time until now, I have been searching for ways to help people find, value and release their voice.

Voice is at the core of what it means to be created in God’s image. Fourteen times in the Genesis 1 creation account it is recorded that “God said.” Although I have never seen it mentioned in any theology texts, one of the most important communicable attributes of God is the ability to communicate.

Additionally, the Apostle John tells us “In the beginning was the Word.” Our Lord is Communication Incarnate. Creation was spoken into existence by the Word. In a very real sense everything and everyone is language. It is then possible that creation is conversation.

The world, for thousands of years, has been filled with a heinous double jeopardy. First, for whatever crazy and ungodly reasons, you are thought to deserve your pain and second, you are unworthy to express your pain. “Suffer in silence,” we say.

The people in my home village experienced the double jeopardy. Their pain was real, expansive, and enduring. The forced silence may have been even worse.

This is, in my perspective, anti-Jesus, for He is the Living Word.

Decency demands that we give each other the dignity of our pain. The condemnation of the other person’s pain is de-humanizing and in effect destroys their personhood. If this de-humanization is followed up with a forced silence, we have created an Auschwitz of the soul.
To everyone who hurts today, I offer you the dignity of your pain. You don’t need to explain, validate, or have my approval. You are hurting and your pain matters. Your perspective, experience, and assumptions are important.

When I tell people that I battle with PTSD the immediate question is, “Why?” I think they really mean it well. What I hear, however, is an underlying condemnation sort of like, “You have never served in Vietnam or Iraq, so why should you struggle with post trauma issues?”

My opinion of your pain isn’t helpful. It is your pain and only you experience it.

I’ll keep working to become more like the Living Word to have the grace of helping those I know and love to feel their pain and to give them the freedom of their voice.

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