Have you ever been shushed? Me too. As a kid, the only time I ever remember being punished by a teacher was for being a tattle-tale. Needless to say, my bossy, know-it-all self was shushed a lot . . .
There are times for silence, but sometimes the process is unfair and hurtful. As I mentioned a few weeks ago in Multitasking? Or Not Connecting?, one of my drive-thru pet peeves is when people won’t get off their cell phones. What’s worse is when people have the audacity to shush me when I’m taking their order or handing them their food. My counseling professors would be quick to tell me I need to examine those emotions and see why their behavior bothers me so much. I would agree, examining those emotions is the way to emotional health, but in my flesh I really would just like to yell the person’s order back to them or toss the person’s phone in the trash when they shush me. (Thankfully, my co-workers spur me on to just kill our guests with kindness in these situations; otherwise, I’m sure my flesh would break me at some point.)
I’d love to say that the times I’m shushed now are all injustices and the shusher is always the one at fault, but that would be a lie. There are times I need to be silenced. The problem is that silencing still hurts. I immediately feel indignant and defensive. Protests immediately start to flow from my heart and my mind.
I’m grateful that God doesn’t shush me. This in itself shows how patient and merciful He is. Honestly, I couldn’t stand to listen to my countless complaints. I don’t know how He listens to everyone’s complaints—and cares! But He does. In fact, He even asks us to talk to Him about everything. He encourages the questions and the doubts and the hurts to come to Him. Even though God doesn’t shush us (not like the world does), I do think that God uses pieces of a silencing process. I think there are times when I really can’t do anything to fix a situation, I can’t speak my peace, and God uses that to help me trust Him more. He’s up for listening to me, but my own powerlessness in situations seems to be an important part of my own growth. After all, He can take care of it, right? So in these times where I just can’t do anything—with actions or words—I get to trust Him more. I also think after I bring my hurts to God that sometimes (okay, a lot of the time) God calls me out for my sin in those moments. It may not be my sin that caused the situation (though sometimes it certainly is), but chances are I’ve responded with some sort of sin.
How has God silenced you lately? What is God whispering to you in the silence?