WORDS FROM W.W. March 22, 2011
I was giving Carol “the silent treatment” part of the afternoon.
No, she hadn’t mistreated me, or made a comment about my bald spot. I had been to the dentist. My mouth hurt. Actually, I felt like I was one of those Star Wars characters with off-shaped heads. At any rate I spent part of the afternoon not talking.
When I did talk I sounded like one of the characters in Bill Cosby’s Fat Albert TV cartoon show a few years ago. So I tried not to talk, just to be quiet.
Interestingly enough, Carol and I went to see the movie The King’s Speech later in the afternoon. By then I could chew popcorn on the right side of the mouth. (We go to movies to eat popcorn. In other words, we have a little movie with our popcorn!)The movie was based on a king’s inability to talk. I had read some of the history that the film was based in William Manchester’s extraordinary biography of Winston Churchill entitled The Last Lion.
Here was another situation of problematic speech.
My numbed mouth and King George VI’s stammering speech were both rooted in pain. In a few hours my pain was gone, but his kept coming at him wave after wave.
Sometimes our speech towards our Creator becomes numb. We fall into pain and heartache and we don’t know what to say to The Lord Who Provides, or we mumble it in embittered tones that make God out to be the villain and bestower of harmful intentions.
There are times when our prayer lives become speechless. We have no voice, no room for even receiving comfort. We are just tight-jawed and close-minded.
Like a son and his father there is the danger of being related but distant. With God, scripture tells us that we can call him “Abba”, while he refers to even one of us as his children. But sons have a way of moving away from their fathers, and then there’s the drifting to the point of silence and meaningless conversations when they do come back together.
King George’s speech was fluid when he was angry. He could cuss and speak angrily with the most convincing orators. It was in his times of uncertainty and royal expectation that his words became like high hurdles that caused tripping and hesitancy.
For many of us we cry out to God in our anger, and he passively pass him by in our successes.
Personally, I have found that I am much better at writing down my thoughts to God than speaking them to him. I’m deeper in thought and “writer’s block” gives me pause to reflect upon what he might be saying.
I dislike getting drilled, but once in a while- a great while- it gives me cause to keep my mouth shut.