Solidarity through silence

I often hear Christians speak about the body of Christ. I envision Christ’s words, “Do this in remembrance of me,” as being encapsulated within the realm of solidarity through difference and silence. A deep presence of our collective mind that exists when folks are silent, when candles are lit and a persecuted and crucified body on a cross is placed for all to see. In the moments leading up to Christ’s death, there was a deep loss of hope in the minds of those disciples who were once seeking an idealist King, now murdered unjustly and incomprehensibly.

It is only when I enter into these moments in the narrative of Christ that I remember to quell my self-righteous attempts at communicating my own ideals of comfort, argument, experiential hopes and narratives attached to the perceptions of the nature of Christ.

Within this frame of being I can finally be liberated and lean into those places that make one uncomfortable. This liberation allows one to finally understand the humanity within ideals that may provoke personal feelings of anger or existential fear. I used to believe that consistency in narrative allowed for good politics or religious ways of being. I now see that this consistency in narrative is too often used as a tool for demonization of those who hold a more nuanced or principally opposed viewpoint than my own.

I can no longer, in solidarity, be stagnant in the way I interact with the world around me. Regardless of my own personal convictions, I am convinced that if the way I conceive of peace, love or affection for my neighbor is limited to my own perspective or comfort level, I am thereby limiting the power of God to work in my life. This perspective can allow me to enter into dialogue with another person, presuming that every premise I hold, every moral, theological or political narrative I am dedicated to, is simply a product of my individual experience. In this manner I can finally begin listening and contemplating the livelihood of another person and another way of inhabiting the world around me.

This type of listening allows one to give grace to positions one opposes on principle. This is what I believe Christ continually did to shape the political, moral and religious landscape of the world around them. Christ spoke to construct paradoxes and encourage curiosity. Christ’s words, “Who do you say that I am?” give one example of Christ working with the mindset of those around them. I encourage all folks to enter into this form of solidarity in reflecting on the death of Christ and the liberation that can be found in Christ’s example.