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Freedom of Speech

April 23, 2014

“It’s my voice. It’s my house.  This is my living room, and dagnabbit, I will not be silenced on my own couch.”

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These thoughts have resonated through my mind over and over for the past week.  I am not fond of having my right to speak freely challenged.

As you can see, this is a very, very sensitive subject for me.

So when I was given a list of parameters of what I could and couldn’t say by a “not-friendly-but-used-to-be” who hasn’t been part of my life for a long time?  All my feels and insecurities showed up, hot and bristling while a weak-willed and feisty heart beat fast and furious.

I have always vehemently defended the rights of an individual to say whatever needs to be said and yet, how could this be said to me.

“I won’t let them control me!”  I mumbled angrily into the ears of my family as we processed, out loud, this offense to identity.

The lame thing is that, in spite of my big words, the restrictions of disapproval and ultimatums did stifle me for a while, even after the initial shock and awe wore off.

I don’t love conflict, and I will shy away from it with a great deal of effort. However, if you bring it to my doorstep, I will do what I need to do to either resolve or defend.  Yet, this, this, was more than a simple statement, it was an effort to prevent me from sharing the weakness, the frustration, the incomprehensible nature of living.   I was being told to be silent, still, and let injustice and accusation stand.

I couldn’t make sense of the accusations or the vitriolic voices.

It was unnerving to have harsh words spoken loudly in the anticipated clarity of my voice, as it was carefully writ large on the white background of my personal blog.

microphoneafraid.jpgThose very intimate truths had been taken personally, despite the fact I seek to write merely of universal truths, hurts, thoughts, principles, and my personal life-long struggles which bear only as much relevance to any reader as they are willing to see themselves reflected in this scribe’s mirror.

So, I sat and thought, and pondered, and almost wrote a hundred times what was on my heart to say, to get my two cents in and make them Go. Away.

And yet, in the middle of my mental gymnastics and convoluted self-preservation, a quiet voice spoke to me, gently…

 “Trust in Adonai, and do good;
settle in the land, and feed on faithfulness.
Then you will delight yourself in Adonai,
and he will give you your heart’s desire.”

~ Psalm 37: 3-4

Not to focus on those who are determined to misunderstand, itching to dish out their disappointment and anguish on anyone in their path.  I remain free to refuse to allow the weaknesses and immaturity of another person dictate how, where, and when I am willing to use this little voice God has given me. 

My food is faithfulness.  My heart’s desire is found in my Lord.  I will trust Him and listen only to His voice.

microphone silenced.jpgToday, I resolve to speak, both carefully and with liberty.  It is the same way I have been crying out to a big, big world, for I will not bow to the domination of any but the One so tender He would not crush a bruised reed.

I will not be silent, but, with as much passion as I can dredge, and with the freedom of a beloved, if wildly flawed, Child of God, the truth I know must and will be shared.

“We are not cowed into timidity by death and life. Were we forced to rely on our own shabby resources we would be pitiful people in deed. But the awareness of Christ’s present risen-ness persuades us that we are buoyed up and carried on by a life greater than our own (emphasis added).”  Brennan Manning – Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging

 

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