Lanny sat in somber silence. He was stoic, if not marble-like in stature. This was after much consternation and rebellion. His motionless mute followed a furious storm of rebuttal and disbelief. Realizing he was whipped and left without recourse, he simply sat down and gave up. In his silence, he was hoping to demonstrate a strength to his foes. Mom and dad could give his dog away, yes, but they would experience his anger, even if he had to hold his breath until he turned blue.
Walter made no response when he was asked if he would be attending the staff party with his wife. He figured she would go away and read his mind, accepting his determination, regardless of her desires. She didn’t. Walter had no intentions of going to a party where John would be in the same room and even though his wife did not know this, he offered no explanation. He never told her that John got the promotion meant for him, and it looks like he may never. What a strong guy he is!
“Too often the strong silent man is silent only because he does not know what to say, and is reputed strong only because he has remained silent.” Winston Churchill
Ole Ed put his foot down on this one. No coyote or bear would be coming on to his property and killing another one of his farm animals, not on his watch. He sat in silence night after night, watching and waiting for the enemy of his domain. He ignored his family, friends and foes alike. He spoke to no one. He only muttered to himself constantly of his absolute resolve. Finally, at 3:10 AM on a Tuesday morning in the freezing cold, he shot the two wild dogs that had taken the lives of too many of his farm animals and livestock.
What a strong man! To celebrate his achievements, he sat in front of the television, in silence, with his family that included 3 pre-teens and a teenager. They all watched as one vile program after another invaded the inner sanctum of the minds and wills of their children. Ole Ed never said a mumbling word about the crouching animals turned loose in his home through the iris of this world of cable TV and all it offers. He had the remote control, but never once pulled the trigger of moral courage.
Bill was in a car crash after stumbling from the bar and driving towards home on his 40th birthday. He told his wife and family that he would be home in time for the party, but he never showed. Now in the hospital, his life hangs in the balance. Unable to speak, but very conscious and regretful of his poor choices, he wishes he could talk to someone about the inner pain he was experiencing that made his tubes, splints and casts seem but a trivial matter. He had kept quiet for 31 years and the repressed silence had tainted every step he took following the night he was sexually abused at 9 years of age. He never felt strong enough to talk about it because the shame was too Goliath-like. None of his wives or children ever knew of this abuse in his history, nor why he chose to keep silent.
“That’s it”. Ed had made his case to the jury and if they did not see the truth, he felt that nothing in this world could possibly change the outcome of the trial after his powerful presentation. He sat down and clasped his hands in front of him as he stared forward in calm assurance. He rested his case and prayed for the truth to take center stage on his client’s behalf.
“It makes sense to be a person of few words and to stay calm. Even fools seem smart when they are quiet.” Proverbs 17:27-28
Men in today’s culture—Emasculated-meaning “to castrate. Deprived of or lacking strength or vigor; effeminate.”
Hollywood Sitcom television writers are stoking the trend of dumb and dumber men who play the leading role of a stooge or a “passive follower” who stumbles through life proving the superiority of women. This fantasy, revealed over and over enough and combined with satire, humor and “great acting”, seems enough to put men in their rightful place of subservience. But it backfires. Neither men nor women, in the end, are fulfilled with such role play. To all you men who will not tolerate emasculation, who seek not to live it, or to prop up the actors who espouse it—expect a fight!
Remember, it was Moses of the Exodus who told God, as if God didn’t already know, “I have never been a good speaker. I wasn’t one before you spoke to me, and I’m not one now. I am slow at speaking, and I can never think of what to say.” Moses was so afraid of this public speaking task that he begged the Lord, “Please send someone else to do it.” At this point, the Lord became irritated with Moses and allowed his brother Aaron to join in. Now then, Moses would still be the speech writer, God the source of information, and Aaron the verbal orator. Moses kept insisting of his poor speaking skills to God and God kept proving him wrong.
There is a silence of men in their homes as the leader, and in their church as deacon, elder, servant. They tolerate idol worship and evil in both places as if to say, “Lord, don’t you have Aaron, or someone else who will stand for truth and righteousness?
You know me, I’m just too shy and cowardly. How about my wife? She talks really well and does it for me on a regular basis, even when I have nothing to say. That would be the ever-popular Silence #6.
Turns out, it’s not about muscles and oratory skill after all. It is turn back to God, calm down, and quietly trust.
“The holy Lord God of Israel had told all of you, “I will keep you safe if you turn back to me and calm down. I will make you strong if you quietly trust me.” Isaiah 30:15