Silence and darkness

We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.


Silence is failing to speak up when something needs to be said.  Such silence is harmful and never leads to growth, change or improvement.  But speaking up is hard – really hard.  I’ve struggled all day today knowing people were reading yesterday’s post about “The Quiet Game“.  On one hand what I wrote needs to be said, and needs to be known.  But on the other hand, I know there are two sides to the complete story, and I only presented one.  My desire was not to try a case, cast blame, or convict individuals.

“Then why say anything at all?!” you might think.

I say it because when you strip away all the “he said – she said” minutia, a simple fact remains.  Racist comments were made.  Nothing was done to address them – either by other paying customers or by the staff at the restaurant.  Feelings and frustrations escalated.  Are any wholly innocent?  Are any wholly guilty?  Clearly no, but the simple fact remains.  Racism is never ok, regardless of surrounding circumstances.

And so I speak up.  I don’t know every detail.  I honestly don’t care to.  The details will not change the fact that individuals’ rights were violated.  And it is that against which I speak.

Honestly if we as a community never speak up against wrongs simply because we haven’t fully analyzed every possible angle, nothing would ever be said.   Silence would reign.

Our world is dark and needs the light of Christ.  It’s rather easy to shine His light where it’s already bright.  It takes courage, though, to point out the dark places, to boldly expose the darkness.  But it is only through such exposure that hope can shine forth.  We have to be willing to be honest to admit that a certain corner is dark.  There’s no benefit to our light, and no benefit to a dark corner, to argue about whether it’s really dark or not.

And just what is that light that breaks through the darkness?  It’s the love, grace, mercy and forgiveness of Christ.  And we stand as hopeful agents of change, desiring to see that grace spread.

We stand against silence and darkness.