On BBC news, there is a clip today, that shows the observing of silence in British society on behalf of the fallen and the terror in Paris. There are school children with French flags. There are meetings with men standing around a table. There is Westminster chiming.
Silence is moving. It is a strange thing. It expresses the sorrow. It expresses the solidarity. It expresses the seriousness. It expresses the determination. It binds the community. It frees the community to go on and move on to whatever is next. It is a marker.
It really is amazing. It costs no money, expends no energy and is still so powerful. Better than a march with banners.
Silence is like prayer. We have time to connect to something more, something deeper.
It reminds me of something I was told by African American Spiritual singers: "Let's hum. The devil won't know what we are singing." I think the humming was not wordless. In their minds, the choir knows the words, and they know them together. But outwardly, it is just a soft sound.
In the minutes of silence, we also know what we are thinking: "Lord, have mercy and help us. Lord, be with the loved ones. Lord, don't let it happen again. Don't let the sacrifices by in vain. Let us go on soberly and properly doing the right thing, with your help. Amen."
Not only does the devil not know what is being prayed, the atheists can't protest, either.
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