They sit, these sisters, clasping tea in hands, telling me the story I know. The story of silence, the story of keeping it all hidden, pretending everything is okay.
They sit and share the wounds of the darkness, love muddled in attempt to keep things clean, organized, simple. The problem with pushing down truth is that truth cannot be hidden forever. And there is a cost to silence that is more bitter than the initial pain itself.
Repercussions to silence are felt in new ways–all for the fear of letting light shine.
Avoiding conversations about the tough stuff may mean avoiding the potential mess that occurs when hearts are spilled open, raw. But avoidance–choosing silence–opens the door to believing lies, to making agreements about things that aren’t true.
Do you, friend, have a memory when you, as a child, tried to put together the pieces to a situation you didn’t fully understand? Do you feel the burden of silence, of things unspoken, of relationships strained?
We are made for relationship. We are made for community. We are made to share stories and let His light shine on the places of pain, of fear, of pride.
My friend leans forward. We must unearth truth, she says. We must unearth lies that need to be surrendered. We must unearth wounds pushed deep into hard, dark ground.
I squirm in my chair and my heart leaps with recognition. Yes, I understand this. This invitation to unearth–seeking to discover lies of my past–makes me both excited and afraid.
For I remember. I’ve been here before.
Unearthing creates turmoil in the dark places, underground. The roots have been established, wound their way through shadowless dark. Silence plants the message: deal with your burden on your own; figure it out; ignore it; time will make it all go away.
Over the years, the yearning for truth is squelched, pushed down, too far. And the darkness receives it, swallows it whole.
There the lies are nourished, fed by the years of handling the silence on our own. And there, the agreement is made: I don’t have a voice, I am alone, I need to figure this out by myself, the cries of my heart don’t matter, I am not good enough.
The silence makes its insidious crawl, pushing its way from the deep recesses where it is further watered and new sprouts shaped. It curls upward and winds it way along the surface of the ground, a vine snaking in shadow, away from the chance of life outside.
And that is when the unearthing must come. The vine must get pulled up by the roots because it prefers lurking in darkness and fears brightness of light.
“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:5) .
“For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
Dear sisters, you are not meant to be silent. Your wounds are not invisible, forgotten, uncared for. Your voice, when you call His name, reaches to the heavens (Psalm 10:17). His love for you cannot be contained. The silent scars you bear are not invisible to Him, are not silent to Him, are not unnoticed by Him. He calls your name and cradles you close, knocking, asking if it is okay for Him to lift you up, to unearth the pain you bear (Luke 11:10). He promises to take that burden from you, carry it Himself, longing to remind you that He did it already, when He hung on a cross for you.
His voice called your name, breaking the silence of death with His death. His last cry to His Father was for you, as He chose, in His love for you, to suffer and die. He allowed His body to lay cold, in the earth, alone, so that you can be unearthed, dear one, and rise with Him.
Let the Father unearth you like He unearthed His Son. He redeems the darkness. He makes everything light.
“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life” (John 8:12).
As writers, as sisters, as daughters, as friends, we are called to bring light to darkness. We are called to give voice to truth and trust that He sets the captives–of silence–free.