Monday, April 2, 2012

The Silence Is Not Empty (Slice)

Willa, as a young adult, was hospitalized and classified as schizophrenic of an undifferentiated type. She was born into a home where she was unwanted and abused. Though was a bright child, everyone took advantage of her. She grew up with no sense of boundary or healthy relationships. Tragically, even the very individuals who pledged to help her became abusive towards her. In the second year of graduate school, she finally broke down and could not finish her term.

In the hospital, Willa sat for hours rocking her doll and staring into space. The head nurses expected that she would never be able to leave the hospital.

One day, while Willa was sitting in her chair, someone came up behind her, put arms around her and said, "The silence is not empty; there is purpose for your life." She turned around, but there was no one there.

The power of that experience began to build sanity within Willa. She began to distinguish illusion from reality. Even though no one thought that she would ever leave the hospital, she was released after three weeks. Eventually, she was baptized and returned to her original calling (the same profession that she had been in graduate school for).

God is still in the silence when all else seems lost, Loder writes: "The intimacy of the Spirit runs deeper than family violence and neglect, and has immense restorative power."(1) Truly, the intimacy of God runs deeper than silence.

This is the story Holy Week sets before the world this week. There is much to listen for in between the crucifying and the raising. There is always much silence and darkness to sit with, but it is never fully empty.

-- Jill Carattini

(1) Story as told by James Loder, The Logic of the Spirit (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998), 264-265.

No comments:

Post a Comment