“O Lord,
calm me into a quietness
that heals
and listens,
and molds my longings
and my passions,
my wounds,
and wonderings
into a more holy
and human

Todd Loder, Guerrillas of Grace, 1984

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He was oppressed and tormented, but didn’t open his mouth. Like a lamb being brought to slaughter, like a ewe silent before her shearers, he didn’t open his mouth.

Due to an unjust ruling he was taken away, and his fate—who will think about it? He was eliminated from the land of the living, struck dead because of my people’s rebellion. His grave was among the wicked, his tomb with evildoers, though he had done no violence, and had spoken nothing false.

Isaiah 53:7-9

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There are countless stories of people throughout history who stand up for what is right, even when in the midst of persecution. Consider the leaders in modern history that have spoken out on behalf of themselves and others to bring issues of human worth to the forefront. Think of those who have lent their voices or sacrificed their lives to end slavery, to have their votes counted, to ensure access to education, to seek common civil dignity and protection. Who comes to mind for you? Martin? Malala? Who are those heroes who stood up for the truth they believed in, even when that meant looking into the face of extreme adversity?

What these people have in common is that they spoke their truth with strength, in love and peace — rather than in anger and hate.

It’s hard to know the difference between passive silence and strong silence. When Jesus was being persecuted, he never made his argument the loudest. Jesus continued to proclaim the Kingdom of God even in the midst of persecution and death.

Is there a place in your life where you need to strive for strong silence? Take time today to reflect on your words and actions, and whether they are proclaiming your truth in a way that is authentic.

Sarah Briggs

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God, thank you for the countless examples of men and women throughout history who suffered for the sake of proclaiming what is true. Help me to stand firm in proclaiming your love, even when I am scared. Amen.

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“It’s gonna be alright
Turn around and let back in the light
And joy will come
Like a bird in the morning sun
And all will be made well
Once again”

Josh Garrels, “Morning Light,” 2015

Sarah Briggs

Sarah Briggs is a graduate of the Gardner-Webb School of Divinity. She serves as the Youth and Family Ministries Coordinator of St. James Episcopal Church in Black Mountain, NC. She enjoys live music, spending time with the folks she loves, and exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains she is lucky enough to call home.

Guide Me While I Learn

Ken Medema

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