Deafening Silence

You’re there.
You’re in that moment.
You’re sitting there.
Nervous. Anxious. Scared out of your mind. Terrified of which reaction you might get. You know you need to embrace the freedom that comes from the other side of what you know you need to do...but the fear is real. You try opening your mouth. The words are hard to find. You are working as hard as you can to muster up the courage to just speak. Here you are. Here you sit. You. Them. And then it happens. You open your mouth and the words come out as if they were being spoken by a voice you don’t even recognize. Risk. Fear. Trust. Freedom. They all meet right here in the sacred conversation.

This car ride. 
This late night meal. 
This closed door office meeting. 
This walk down the sidewalk. 
This moment...sitting on the tailgate. 
The corner booth. 
The living room recliners. 
The couch. 
The altar. 
The coffee shop. 
The bedroom.

You’ve sat in pain. You’ve brought all the hurt with you. You’ve fantasized about what a day looks like without darkness. You’re rattled. You see people everywhere but you’re alone. You’re begging inside for something that you don’t even believe is possible anymore. You’ve wondered if the prayers you pray to a God you’re not even sure about anymore are even being heard. You’re desperate. You’re embarrassed. You’re humiliated. You’re ruined. You’re at your end. 

Your mind has lied to you.
You’ve believed every lie sold to you.
You’ve embraced solitude.
You’ve rejected being seen.
Your past is screaming as loud as it can.
It's telling you that you should not do what you are about to do.

Hiding has become your normal. 
Smiling has become your defense. 
Avoiding has become your workout. 
Silence has become your safety. 

But...you’re here. Looking into the face of a person. Another human being. 
A friend. 
A leader.
A coworker. 
A spouse.
A parent. 
A pastor. 
A mentor. 
Another person. Just like you. 

You are here. They are here.
What happens next will shape your future.
What happens next has the power to reject the lies.
What happens next has the potential to scream louder than the screams of the past.
What happens next has the ability to reshape everything that ever told you you were anything short of simply loved.

You. Them. A moment. 

“I have had an abortion”
“I am gay.”
“I want to kill myself.”
“I’ve had an affair.”
“I’m addicted.”
“I’ve been abused.”
“I hate my job.”
“I’m lonely.”
“I’m just tired.”
“I am _________.”
“I have _________.”

This next moment…
When that other person simply sees you.
When that other person simply gives you the purest hug you’ve ever felt. 
When that other person simply puts their arm around you. 
When that brother looks you in your tear filled eyes.
When that sister just holds you and lets you cry.

This is the understanding silence that speaks loudly.

What happens next... 
What happens in the days to come... 
What happens months down the road...

When your confidence has been kept.
When your secret is safe. 
When your trust has been guarded.

When their mouth has remained closed.
When their voice has not uttered your confession. 
When the words you spoke are not on their tongue.

When you have been protected.
When they have helped you heal.
When they have walked with you.

That is the trusted silence that is deafening.

Now, this trust may have just saved your life.
Now, this trust produces healing.
Now, this trust opens doors for restoration.
Now, this trust helps people find help.
Now, this trust brings freedom.

Now, let our deafening silence compel others to speak loudly.
Now, let our deafening silence rekindle the lost art of sacred trust.
Now, let our deafening silence be the starting point of eradicating suicide.
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