Fear of Speaking Out But Covered By His Grace
I have never been very good about speaking up. As a kid, my sister often spoke up when she disagreed with our parents–our mom in particular–more often than I liked. As the discussions escalated, sometimes to a fevered pitch, I quietly slipped away to my bedroom and shut the door. I distracted myself with music or a book, or I just covered my head with a pillow until the house calmed. And then, I waited to emerge until silence filled the house.
My sister stood her ground and spoke up, not always to her benefit. And, at some point, because I couldn’t stand the conflict–the harsh words, the anger–I just stopped listening. I never took sides, one way or the other. I never stood with her, but I never stood against her. I looked out for myself. I sought refuge in the space behind my bedroom door.
As I move through Holy Week, I find it difficult to speak of Christ’s death on the cross and the resurrection. Instead, I wonder whether, if I had lived during that time, what voice I would have been. The betrayer, the denier, the silent believer who was afraid of the Jews, or part of the hollering crowd of non-believers. One who refused to speak up or one who refused to listen.
I am certain I would not have spoken out. And I imagine, like I did as a kid, I would have sought refuge from the noise of the crowd, looking out for myself.
That is difficult to admit, but I admit it with certainty. Today, I don’t find it easy to talk about the resurrection because I find it intellectually incomprehensible. Understanding it and believing it required a transformation from head to heart–an inner knowing. Faith. Belief in things unseen.
So, as I move silently through Holy Week, I reflect on my own failings, but I look to the cross. I read the words of another who reminds me that I am precious and dear to God, despite my failings. He covers me with His grace. I find peace.
“All that makes Him precious and dear to the Father has been transferred to me. His excellency and glory are seen as if they were mine; and I receive the love, and the fellowship, and the glory, as if I had earned them all.”
—Horatius Bonar, The Everlasting Righteousness
— Godspeed, Elizabeth