There is something special about being beachside early evening before the sun takes leave of the day. Oftentimes, as the day time masses thin out and before the night time crowd heads into full swing, there is a lull… a window through which one can see and hear more clearly the ocean. At this time, one can also see his/her full shadow or spread belongings freely where just a short while earlier space was rather sparse.
Sitting there looking and listening to the waves breaking and feeling a gentle breeze can be very relaxing, almost entrancing. While this may be an experience one could label as being good, it can also be limiting. It can turn from being a respite into being an escape. And while we all need a break from time to time, it is also important to consider one’s trends and tendencies, and to where they lead.
A few weeks ago, there was a re-run of a Simon & Garfunkel concert that was held in New York’s Central Park in 1981. It was hard to believe that this event had taken place 36 years ago and featured songs that were even older than that. One of the things that I found particularly striking, as I listened, was the phrase, “Silence like a cancer grows.”
Silence can often be the great pretender. It may seem safe and masquerade as the voice of reason or the way of peace, when it may actually be a dangerous route to travel. While silence and the path of least resistance may be appealing, in the long haul, they can quietly and subtly cause destruction and promote decay and indifference. More often than not, when all is quiet, all is not well.
Sometimes we can be drawn into a false sense of well-being and enticed toward the easy way out. We can be lured toward that which, on the surface, might be perceived as “good.” We can also be tempted to gloss over or to look the other way… cajoled into making no waves or steering clear of anything that might possibly lead to confrontation or dissent.
The Bible, in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, contains a plethora of verses with the exact words, or something very similar to, “do not be afraid.” Many times, whether we recognize it or not, fear is at the root of silence. Many times we can be lulled into sitting quietly, peacefully looking and listening to the breaking waves, not even realizing that our backs are turned to the Light.
“Fear no one.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.” – Matthew 10:26-28