Living a quiet mediocre life does not bring the peace I crave. For decades I listened to the words of those screaming into the nearest microphone. I responded with silence. The louder they screamed, the more I retreated to the middle of the road. I neither agree nor disagree.
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 14You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. 15Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand where it gives light to all in the house. 16Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. [Matthew 15:13-16 NABRE]
Growing up protestant, evangelization was hard for me to do. It’s not my thing. But something happened along the way. It started in the sixties when the screaming voices began. I shied away. Nothing appeased the voices. Through the decades the voices changed their message as a society responded to them. The shouting continued.
Some of us, myself included, backed away from the voices. We needed to feed our families, develop careers, and survive. We could not afford the financial and physical ramifications of engaging in this activity. For me, the stress of confrontation is physically painful. I became mediocre. I was a middle of the road peacemaker. “Let’s all just get along.” “Focus on getting the job done.” These were my mantras. Sometimes they worked and other times they didn’t. I thought this would bring peace, it did not.
There are many like me. We cannot waste our energy. We have to prioritize our goals, and a political, philosophical, or esoteric issue isn’t important enough to warrant the pain. For me, this is the root of the silent majority.
I am a part of the silent majority. The other side doesn’t notice us until we take quiet action. And when things get out of hand, our actions speak volumes. Then we hear the media deride us: How could they do this to us? How is this possible? They must be ignorant! They don’t know what’s good for them! On and on the questions and insults fly at the ones who remain silently faithful to their beliefs.
They don’t know us because at some point we chose not to use our voice. What is the point of arguing when someone sees only one side of the story? Then we stopped listening to the screaming because it wasn’t worth the pain. This dynamic has created a chasm. Both sides have lost their freedom of speech on a cultural level. One side refuses to speak and the other cannot hear.
My opening scripture is in the Catholic Mass’ gospel reading for today. I seem to be returning to this scripture (see my post I’ve Been Convicted). Before the homily started, doubts formed within me: How does my light shine when I am too shy and too tired to open my mouth? Will I ever be able to express myself without anger or retorts? Will anyone hear of my Lord from me?
I sighed in my spirit. I thought I knew what was coming; the message to show His Light to the world. Nope, that wasn’t it at all. The homily focused on verse sixteen. A verse I barely noticed:
“16Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”
We need to keep living our lives according to our beliefs in Christ. It is through our good deeds that others see God. Then they will glorify God the Father. Letting my light shine in my own way helps other’s see God’s majesty. It is okay to be shy and introverted as God created me. His light will shine through my soul in other ways. Let me give an example:
People ask me to pray for them or others all the time. The requests may come from family, friends, acquaintances, or strangers. Many times I don’t know how they know I pray. I don’t talk about praying a lot but, if someone asks I do pray for them. I didn’t think about it much until this homily. Somehow it shows through. Maybe it’s a word or they see my sign of the cross while I’m listening to a rosary podcast. Since I don’t recognize why it doesn’t come from me. It must be God’s Light.
Today’s homily gave me confirmation that I am on the right track by living by example. I am not mediocre; I live my faith more quietly than most. God uses us where are. It made me realize that if I wasn’t an introvert I wouldn’t take the time away to write. This blog would not exist.
Blessed be the Lord. He knows what we need to understand. I needed to know it is okay to be me. May you shine His Glory in your own way today.