“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Too often fear makes us pause these days before we speak. It’s not a terror kind of fear, more like a “what will people think” fear. Will they retaliate with vitriol?
It should be a no-brainer: SPEAK UP, SPEAK OUT, SPEAK, SPEAK, SPEAK!
This redhead has spoken out countless times in the face of rejection and adversity in places of conflict, dodging stinging slings on all sides of the spectrum.
But now there’s a hesitation. Sometimes it’s just a split second. Sometimes it’s a pause to gather thoughts (not as easily done in middle age when informative tidbits go missing at the most awkward times, like when I am trying to make a point.)
Entering the fray of public opinion requires thicker skin these days. It’s hard when things that seem like no-brainers elicit backlash of the negative sort.
“Perfect love drives out fear.” (I John 4:18)
Even when we try to speak out in love with the backbone of faith supporting us, it’s hard to find consensus on what (to me) should be universal truths:
We are all beloved of God. We are all equally beloved. Diversity is something to be celebrated not denigrated. We need each other. We are all part of the human family called humanity. Love is the language of peace, and peace is the language of love.
Yet, often voices of love among us are drowned out by voices of hate.
Doesn’t make sense unless we flip this a bit – who is listening to voices of Love? If more people listened to voices of Love, maybe voices of hate would not garner such large audiences. If more people started speaking with voices of Love, maybe a large and loud chorus of Love would drown out voices of hate.
It’s a challenge: do I listen to voices of Love or voices of hate? That qualifies externally and internally. Who and what we listen to forms opinions that eventually influence our actions. That also applies to internal voices. I don’t mean Joan of Arc voices, but the barometer inside our minds that bleeps out bad stuff and edits good stuff.
Do we give credence to negative voices that say, “You are no good. You are a failure. You are not this, not that, not, not, not…” Or, do we listen to God’s Voice calling us Beloved: “You are precious. You are valuable. You are loved. You are BELOVED. You are, are, are…”
If we hate ourselves, it’s easy to hate others. If we know that we are beloved of God – and believe it – it’s easier to love others. (Note I did not say it’s “easy” to love others, but easier from the perspective of knowing we are loved, of sharing from the well of love inside us.)
Basically it comes down to choice: what voices are we listening to? How are we filling the cups of our lives? With something bitter (HATE) or something sweet (LOVE) that melts away the bitterness of hate?
Bitter or sweet, it’s a choice of what to dwell on, how to listen and how to speak.
Voices of Love vs. Voices of Hate.
Choose wisely, there’s a lot at stake.
grace, peace & voices of LOVE
Virginia : )
“The final word is love…True love is delicate and kind, full of gentle perception and understanding, full of beauty and grace, full of joy unutterable. There should be some flavor of this in our love for others. We are all one. With love we see people as they really are, as God sees them.” Dorothy Day