Just before Thanksgiving I had the privilege of being one of eleven women traveling to India with the organization Mission India. What would compel a bunch of women to fly to the other side of the world right before the most wonderful time of the year?
As I ponder and process and attempt to put into words my feelings and experience in India, I am surprised by the word that comes to me; silence.
Traveling to India was about the silencing of women, children and the impoverished by illiteracy. It was about the silencing of those following the Living God by intimidation and death. It was about the silencing of beauty and dignity by emptiness and oppression.
I went to India to help break the silence. I went to listen and observe the transformative effects of education and literacy on a person’s life; education bringing hope and empowerment not only to an individual but to a family and community. I went to feel the heart cry of fellow human beings to be seen, heard and touched; to embrace, cup precious faces and lay hands to impart Love. I went to stand with brothers and sisters in the flames of fire; to breathe and blow fresh Wind that refreshes, encourages and strengthens the heart to stay the course. I went to break the silence.
As I listen and observe, feel and stand an interesting thing happened. As I engage with others I hear a voice telling me to be quiet. I hear a voice attempting to silence and isolate me, spouting all sorts of lies and half truths in an attempt to keep me from connecting with those I came to see. But as I press in to hear the heart of the one in front of me, I see the face of one pressing in to hear my heart as well. And in this, the foe that seeks to silence me can’t help but be silenced. Because Love is greater and when we seek to understand another’s heart He is magnified and the truth illuminated and given voice.
And for me this truth is affirmed, that although culturally we may be a world apart, in matters of the heart we are all very much the same; the desire for families to be whole, for babies to be conceived, for physical and spiritual healing and protection, for the freedom to dream and the ability to work to see those dreams become a reality. The truth breaks the silence and reminds that we are all part of humanity and this connects our hearts not only to one another but to the Creator of us all.
And one more truth speaks; that we don’t have to travel far to find those living silenced. It can be as close as our city, the house next-door or the face of the one looking back at us in the mirror.
May we be empowered in the name of the One who always hears our heart and who broke the chains of division, the name above all names, the mighty name of Jesus, to live in such a way that no matter where we go or who stands before us, we hear the heart and break the silence.
Unhindered…live the masterpiece!