Have you ever been in a Christian meeting or study where the leader has asked if anyone has input or questions and the silence is so thick you're afraid to breathe? It's hard to believe after what you've just heard nobody has anything to say. Were they even listening?
They're all doing the same thing you are. Listening to their heart pound as they turn around that one thought they wouldn't dare ever say out loud. Everybody's afraid. Scared about what other people will think. Embarrassed. Ashamed.
I've noticed something as of late. I've read or looked at books and endless resources for Christian youth and singles and there are certain issues that are evidently big problems within the church, but I have rarely, if ever, heard them spoken of in person, face to face. Why is this?
One thing I do know is that we are all humans born with very much the same tendencies. No problems are new, unique, or limited to certain groups of people. But there are certain things we shrink away from, avoid and simply hope for the best.
We all know these problems exist in the world and in the church, but we don't talk about them. Do we simply hope that our teens or youth don't have problems with these things? Do we think that our church or group is better than all the rest? Are we afraid simply because it's uncomfortable and you might have to say words you nearly blush to think about? Why do we stay quiet about certain issues?
All people, not just young people, have questions about a whole host of subjects but everyone's afraid. Afraid to stand out. Afraid of what people think. Afraid of being vulnerable. Afraid of what would happen if anyone knew. So we protect our questions and secrets, bind them up with chains of steel and ache alone.
I love Tenth Avenue North's song Healing Begins. But it also often makes me uncomfortable because it's so true and frightening. In this video journal of the song, lead singer Mike Donehey talks about how confessing something to God is easy, but having to tell someone else freaks us out. People scare us a lot more than God does.
The truth is though, keeping things quiet doesn't fix anything. Knowing something you're doing is wrong doesn't fix anything. It's only when you start talking about downright scary stuff though that people can find freedom and healing. And nobody's ready for that.