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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Saturday, August 15

One who winks the eyes plans perverse things; one who compresses the lips brings evil to pass.
—Proverbs 16:30

There are times when silence is the wrong response. We know that words formed from the passion that bubbles up when we feel anger or hurt or envy can bring pain to others. Just the same, when we refuse to speak words that would help or free others, evil and suffering result. When we compress our lips,we are choosing to remain silent when speaking is needed.

It may be that we are fearful of what will happen to us if we speak. It may be that we are unwilling to confront our own complicity in the injustice that others endure. It may be that we have other seemingly more important matters that require our attention. It may be that we just don't want to get involved lest we find ourselves expected to commit in ways that will put a strain on our own lives. Whatever causes us to compress our lips tight so words do not escape can cause the evil around us to grow.

The longer we are unwilling to speak the words of truth, the words of liberation, the words of goodness, the harder it is for our souls to flourish. Our souls were created to call forth blessing on ourselves and others. When we witness human indignity and injustice and we pull back, either to protect ourselves or because we ourselves believe in the cause that is at the heart of the injustice, we become tight, constricted, and small. Our souls become as compressed as our clenched lips.

The hand of heaven is ready to gently open our hearts and loosen our lips.

When we boldly cooperate with that touch, we will find our faces filled with smiles.

Gracious God, when my heart is closed and silence has wrapped itself tightly around my soul, cut loose my bonds and release my voice.