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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Are You the Silent Type?

Sometimes people are silent for a reason.

Perhaps, through an emotional crisis or physical pain or loss, the woman holds it in, tackling hurts the way she knows best. Maybe the way her mother did. As her grandmother did before her.

On the opposite spectrum, some tell all. Are you ever surprised by the things people talk about publicly? Husband-wife woes. Children's failings. Financial matters. Some share information I wish I hadn't heard or read. TMI? For instance, in a sermon, the preacher doesn't have to tell every little thing about his wife and their relationship for me to get the picture. The parent doesn't have to describe the blood gushing everywhere from her son's injury (or post a picture of it) for me to understand. I have a vivid imagination.

Have you ever stood at the checkout counter at the grocery store and heard a deep conversation going on where you felt sorry for the clerk having to hear that kind of stuff all day? I have. Others rant about difficulties and personal issues on social media as if everyone wants to know every minuscule part of their lives.

But in the midst of a tell-all society, there are those who still remain silent. Taking life and troubles in, thinking about it, or not, they keep the hurt or stress or confusion to themselves. Maybe this is right, maybe it's wrong. Maybe it's the way we were raised. Does it boil down to our differing personalities? The quiet one versus the talkative one. The laugher vs the crier. The secret keeper vs the chatterbox.

While some friends and family members will tell everything, and perhaps even demand our attention to listen, let's remember those who are silent. When someone seems to fall off the grid, take note. There may very well be a reason for his or her silence. They can't talk about it, or choose not to. But they may need a hug or a kind word or an extra bit of understanding.

They say still waters run deep, and I believe it. Just because someone is quiet, never underestimate the struggle she might be going through. Encouraging words do have an effect. Love can change everything. Even, or maybe especially, for the person facing difficulties in silence.

"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing;" Psalm 68:5 & 6

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