Being Quiet

I can feel my body shutting down. Exhaustion is closing in, and I am struggling to stay awake. In two hours I will wake up itchy with worry.  It will settle comfortably for the night in the pockets of veins not yet occupied by things I have to remember to do.

The truth is, I am stressed. It’s been two days since school started again. I have never felt more out of place in a learning environment. Uncertainty appears suddenly in my vision, vitreous detachment, then it is usurped by the list. You know the one you make that never gets finished; by the time you’ve crossed something off another thing has been burned into flesh in its place. These are the things you really really promised to do. But not tonight, because there are other lists that come first.

I’ve had some terrible people experiences lately. They aren’t by nature evil people, certainly human at their core, but I’ve let them in. Like the rhino whose attitude was soured by the sand sneakily left in his skin. I keep scratching at the things they have said, and it’s just making me more itchy.

Recently I had the following internal reaction to someone’s comment on my personality: “…Influence? I came out of the womb outspoken.” If there is anything I am honest with myself about it is this. I don’t like conflict, but I have a hard time bearing the burden of being quiet. The past few days, I have come to feel like I need to defend this “quirk” by co-opting some biblical phraseology from a friend: I am a table turner in the temple. I have a modicum of respect, but I frequently challenge myself and my peers in their views. I hold opinions, I am motivated by those opinions, and I hurt for those affected by sin in the world around me.

There are days when I feel like justice is like trying to hold water in my palms without letting it slip out or evaporate. I am so freakin’ tired of listening to numbers. I don’t care how many people are on welfare, I care that there are people on welfare at all. I don’t care about percentages and facts and figures but I hurt for the women and men and children who find themselves another number in the system, another profit, another cow called for slaughter by society.

I have a really hard time being quiet. I have a really hard time holding back. I’ll take the trouble that it brings and I will shout in every forum I have to if it makes one more person concerned enough to get off their asses and see the pain. If it makes them empathetic toward one more person different from them, toward one more person suffering at the hands of an apathetic world…

I am a table turner in the temple. I am taking on that moniker. I don’t know if I am ready for Christian. I don’t know if I am ready to share a voice among the throng. But I will be the one who gives the voiceless a megaphone, who stands in solidarity. I’m ready to make noise.

Bring it Seminary.

Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “’My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.’” (Matt: 21:12)


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