I’ve never considered myself a violent person. Keeping the peace is among my greatest ambitions, and conflict something I endeavor to avoid as much as possible. Even if it means to remain silent.
But what if there’s violence in silence? Not the violence of weapons, but of withholding the good that would otherwise have made a difference. Of failing to use my voice to pray fervently and speak passionately, calling forth life and overcoming evil with good.
Sitting in the quiet comfort of home I think of current events and the exponential number of “pray for…” posts cropping up in the aftermath. And I have to ask myself…have I really prayed, or is it mere sentiment?
What if I truly made a habit of crying out for the peace of other countries? Of my own? Would I see so many “pray for…” posts after the fact if I prayed before the fact?
And what about words and actions? Scripture makes it clear that authentic faith is expressed not only in word, but also in deed. We’re to speak and act on behalf of justice, truth, mercy, and love. What if my prayerlessness, my silence, my inactivity has contributed to the violence of this age by failing to prevent it?
I came across this Proverb today: “One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys.” Ouch. That is one kind of “brother” I don’t want to be! Yet here I remain, married to my comfort zone in its false pretense of peace.
God help me to no longer be slack in my work. Free me from the violence of silence. Use me to pray forth peace, to speak life and truth, and to act with love and purpose in every opportunity you bring, for time is short.