Take in the Sails
The original Note appeared in 2016. Yet we still don’t understand…CG
In a song from 1965, a man speaks to darkness, his old friend, sharing a vision of frustration and pain. Beneath a lonely street lamp, he saw “people talking without speaking, people hearing without listening. And no one dared disturb the sound of silence.”
He cried out, “Fools, you do not know. Silence like a cancer grows. Hear my words that I might teach you. Take my arms that I might reach you.” But his words fell like silent raindrops. And though the people bowed and prayed, they worshiped a god they had made.
Then a sign flashed a warning. “The words of the prophets are written on subway walls and tenement halls…and whispered in the sounds of silence.” 1
Love is not an emotion, but action.
The 60’s were a time of anger and fear. The issues were many…social injustice, discrimination, poverty, freedom, to name a few. Some stood up, their message scrawled on anything offering a willing canvas. Far more ignored it all. And darkness grew in the silence.
I heard a powerful cover of that song 2 and thought of those Jesus described as though looking, they do not see, though hearing, they do not understand. 3 Today we face many of the issues they faced, often in the same way…with ignorance, blind eyes, and deaf ears.
Aren’t we to be different…not ignoring others, but loving them? Even those we disagree with, those we don’t like, those we deem worthless? …do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.4
Doing good keeps our direction true.
Peter said that by doing good we may silence the ignorance of foolish men.5 The word interpreted as silence is the sailing term “muzzle”…to take in (roll and bind) the sails so that a wayward wind cannot affect the boat’s direction.6
Peter had sailed the Sea of Galilee. He understood the power of wind, just as he understood the power of ignorance in foolish people. He was telling us to take in our sails by doing good so that what others say and do would not change our direction in following Jesus.
You can do this! You can love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you.
Take in the sails! Weather the storm. Do good. And break the sound of silence.
Chuck Graham is Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa, an international ministry devoted to encouraging others and teaching them how to encourage one another. He is also an author and speaker. Chuck and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA. Learn more about Chuck and Ciloa at www.Ciloa.org.
Footnotes: (1) The Sound of Silence, written by Paul Simon, originally appeared in 1964 as “The Sounds of Silence” on the album “Wednesday Morning, 3.A.M.”, Columbia Records; released as a single in 1965. (2) The Sound of Silence, recorded by Disturbed and released on their album “Immortalized”, 2015, Reprise. (3) Read Matthew 13:13b. (4) Read Luke 6:27-28. (5) Read 1 Peter 2:15. (6) Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014.
Pictures: Banner Photo: Street Lamp, wallpaperaccess.com. 1st Photo: Walking Crowd, unknown. 2nd Photo: Love Your Enemies, Flickr. 3rd Photo: Furled Sails of the Graham Vincent, Flickr. 4th Photo: Music video of The Sound of Silence by Disturbed.