stories of a failed holy man


the screaming silence
April 4, 2009, 4:08 pm
Filed under: Stuff | Tags: , , ,

the silence screamed as he made the announcement. people frozen in place, unsure of how or what to feel.

there is something strange about silence. it can be both beautiful and terrifying. i can’t think of one single thing that can bring out so many different emotions depending on the circumstance. in that beautiful sunset in the middle of nowhere we can lose ourselves and find peace. in the awkward pauses of a broken marriage, the silence is a constant reminder of what has been lost. silence is terrifying and awe inspiring. but silence never lasts.

in this instance, silence soon gave way to tears as 1oo+ people began weeping. some softly. some uncontrollably. a young girl has killed herself and there isn’t a person in this room that it doesn’t deeply impact. there isn’t a person in this room who isn’t hit by the dark silence.

for her dearest friends, they mourn the loss of a loved one and torture themselves with questions. what could i have done? why didn’t i see this coming? for those who didn’t know here, but just passed her by in the hallway, they were haunted by their own set of what if’s. what if i had reached out to her? what if i had befriended her? for those that bullied and pushed her around, or even those who had just made one passing comment, feelings of deep remorse and guilt coursed through their body. what if i had been nicer? what if i hadn’t said what i did? for the teachers, a profound sense of loss and disappointment. what if i had helped her with her school work? what if i had gone above and beyond the role of teacher? for her family, the deepest pain they will ever feel. what happened? this can’t be real. but it is. and everyone feels it.

of course, for them to ask these questions of themselves is a pointless endeavor. feelings of guilt, remorse, shame, anger, hurt, and many others will only be followed by stronger feelings of the same stripe if they blame themselves. and i could tell them that. i could tell them that blaming themselves would only hurt them more, and that it wasn’t their fault anyway. after all, i was an outsider. brought in by the powers that be to try to be a presence in the midst of unspeakable pain. i didn’t know the young girl that gave up her life, and i didn’t even know most of the kids. so i could tell them.i could use my reason and logic to bring them to some sense of peace. but in these moments of screaming silence where the pain hits you like a curb stomp to the teeth, logic and reason are thrown out the door.

all these questions are okay, however unfair it might be to ask them of ourselves. all these feelings of pain, doubt, fear, anger, guilt…they are all okay. they are not fun, and they do not feel good, but it is okay to stay there for awhile. and all you can do is move into that space with them. your words won’t help you. your bible classes won’t do a thing. reason and logic make no sense in the midst of tragedy. but your hugs will help. your shared tears will help. your prayers for God to bring light into the darkness will help. and so you sit. unable to do anything but utter weak prayers and hold someone. to feel the pain these friends and classmates are feeling is the best i can do for them. and in these moments, the screaming silence can still be found beautiful.

Advertisements

Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: