Mama Bunkfish

Navigating marriage, motherhood, and mental illness on Jesus, caffeine, and naps!

The Blessing and Curse of Silence

When I was a kid I loved noise. I loved the sound of people talking, the TV on, music, etc. It gave me a sense of life, of action. It meant that things were ‘happening’ all around me. As I’ve gotten older and my home has become filled with the constant humdrum of two young children, I relish the few moments of silence I get every day. But I’ve come to realize that there is both a blessing and a curse in silence.

When my mind is reeling from all the chaos going on around me, silence gives me the time I need to think clearly and pray. At night, when my son can’t sleep, silence lulls him into a deep snooze. And even though my children seem to gravitate towards the most noise possible, they know when silence is best (like when I’m driving through a torrential downpour). Ecclesiastes 3:7 even tells us that there is, “…A time to keep silence…

But that same verse also tells us there is a time to speak. In light of the recent events that have unfolded in the U.S., I think that the curse of silence is what continues to be the cause for the violence, murders, hatred, and divisiveness that plague this country. It is because we cannot and will not have an open and frank conversation about the ills of our world that we continue to argue over whether ‘Black Lives Matter’ or ‘All Lives Matter’. It is because of that silence that there’s a different set of rules that my son, husband, brother, father, friends, etc. must follow to be safe in the streets. It’s because of that silence that many people will read that last sentence and say that the rules are the same for everyone. Like I told a friend today, I’m not asking anyone to be a martyr; but when we choose to remain silent, myself included, on any issue of injustice, inequality, disenfranchisement, lack of care, etc, we are only helping to bury the issue.

Let me be clear. I have not arrived. I do not have all the answers nor do I assume the role of change agent on issues of race or class in this country. But what I do know is that just like being vocal about my struggle with mental illness, I have to start somewhere. And we all do. Whatever your thing is, whatever gets you riled up, whatever didn’t kill you but made you stronger, talk about. Be an open book. Because the longer we stay silent the easier it’ll be for people to ignore you when you finally start talking.

Until next time…

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