Monday, 16 January 2012

What was that I didn't hear you say?

I have been wondering about the things we say and don't say. The title is something I read in an article about outreach, but in this context it's much more to do with how, and particularly what we communicate.

There's more to is than just being either cautious or conservative, although that's also powerful in controlling what we say & keep private. Sometimes there's a fear that we'll gossip, sharing bad things about people not present and unable to defend themselves, and sometimes we'll 'know' something inside and yet find it hard to identify what and why is wrong.

There are things I want to talk about, want to pour out and work through, reach an understanding of and come to terms with, to learn from. Yet I can't, and I am uncertain enough as to whether I'm right to hold back.

I was thinking about this earlier in the context of marriage preparation, while I was out walking & praying a little while ago. When people are prepared for marriage, do those helping them speak frankly and openly about how things really are, or do they speak in ways that suggest possible meanings, yet are ambiguous enough to leave room for interpretation? And what will happen when those who have a badly broken understanding of marriage hear us: they'll nod in agreement, knowing that their expectations have been confirmed by our ambiguous hints.

And here I am, hinting instead of speaking plainly.

Sorry to not be plainer. There's also a small hint of Mark Twain's quote about "better to be thought a fool than open one's mouth and remove any doubt".

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