Our Damning Silence

A few weeks ago I got my favorite seat on the train. It is on the upper deck near the stairs.  After I got settled I looked around a bit and saw a women below and across from me I saw a women with a bag at her feet and a magazine in her hands. It was a Watchtower magazine. I bristled at the heresy. A young girl I had seen on the platform folded herself into a corner a seat or two away from the heretic in my third favorite seat.

After a bit the conductor came around to collect tickets and it became clear that there was a problem with the young girl in the corner. She was probably on the wrong train, she didn’t have a ticket or any money. She was trying to get to Milwaukee and we were going to a town in Northern Illinois about an hour’s drive from Milwaukee. The conductor tried to help her figure out what was going on for a bit but needed to tend to his other duties as well. And so that’s when the Witness moved in. She had put away her magazines and pulled out a schedule with a map on it, slide next to the young girl and they tried to work out a plan.

My emotional reaction was that I wished I was down there helping her instead of the heretic. I could protect her since the Witness would surely get around to her heresy and give the young girl a Watchtower magazine. But it was too late, I couldn’t barge in between the two. I didn’t want to overwhelm the young girl.

Then the sting came. With blistering clarity, I realized that I wanted to keep her from the heresy but I knew I wouldn’t share Christ with her either. Somehow my silence would be better than the Witness’ error.  I hung my head in shame and prayed for forgiveness and strength.

As I reflect on that, I realize that the Witness didn’t share her errors and if I were to be helping the young girl a gospel presentation wouldn’t have been necessarily appropriate either. In this case it was more about offering a cup of water in Christ’s name. But the brunt of the blow of realizing that I opposed error but was hesitant to speak truth stings and continues to sting.

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  • Hiya,

    I am rarely convicted by blog posts.

    But this one –

  • poignant point…thought provoking

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