Shut Up, Shut Up, Shut Up – So Saith the Lord

By on May 4, 2011

By Janelle Alberts –

Have you heard the one about the man with leprosy? Or two blind men who wouldn’t take no for an answer?

Jesus healed them. But don’t tell anybody.

That’s Jesus’ punch line. He said don’t tell anybody.

After hundreds of pages, the reader of the Bible finally lands on Jesus’ miracles and those are the talking points Jesus lobs on the people? On the reader?

I have never one time heard a sermon on this little light of mine, I’m gonna zip my mouth about it.

Why would Jesus tell them not to say anything?

I must say, it would be my dream come true to shut my mouth.  I talk and talk until even the restaurant tablecloths are exhausted. 

I was having dinner with a group of fancy people the other night, wrapping up what I considered a pithy diatribe when I realized I’d done it again. 

I could see by the glazed looks. My husband smiled kindly from across the table.

So close. 

In Jesus’ case, the blind men politely ignored Jesus. They went out and spread the news about Him anyway.

And it all worked out fine.

Well.  Not fine exactly.

Had it been Jesus’ intention to spread the word about Himself in a different way?

I’ve stumbled over these verses for a long time, but they most recently came to my mind when my daughter’s elementary school teacher said my daughter lacked confidence – she never raised her hand in class.

So I privately asked my daughter, why wouldn’t she raise her hand and speak in class?

She gave me a withering look and said, “The teacher asks and kids raise their hands and I’m sitting there watching the clock and thinking shut up, shut up, shut up.”

I think her confidence is fine.

But it illustrates a point that neither person understood the other’s message in that scenario.

And messaging counts.

I understand that we’re all crazed and fearful that if we are quiet, we’ll miss a witnessing opportunity.

That may very well be, but if we’re following the plotlines of this Book, then in fact the harvest is plentiful. It’s the workers that are few.

If there’s a recurring theme from this Bible, it’s that workers who are loud when they are asked to be still are not helping the cause.

So we are called to…shut up? And there’s the rub.

Called.

Such a slippery slope that one.  We wrestle with it, tackle it as best we can, and then feel guilty if we ever neglect to tell, tell, tell it!

Tell it.  Of course!  And be still.  Both.

There are steps, and they’re personal – best evidenced by this Bible of characters trying to understand God’s calling one step at a time.

Luckily for my antsy daughter, that step includes recess.

Janelle Alberts spent her early career managing crisis communication needs for Microsoft, UPS and Wells Fargo. Alberts joined the Akron Beacon Journal online religion page in the summer of 2010. Alberts sets out in The Bible Book Club to observe the messaging strategy of one historical icon who is consistently quoted but inconsistently represented – God and His world’s best-selling book, the Bible. You can find Janelle at http://ohio.webfactional.com/faith_folly/.

About Janelle Alberts

Janelle Alberts spent her early career managing crisis communication needs for Microsoft, UPS and Wells Fargo. Alberts joined the Akron Beacon Journal online religion page in the summer of 2010. Alberts sets out in The Bible Book Club to observe the messaging strategy of one historical icon who is consistently quoted but inconsistently represented – God and His world’s best-selling book, the Bible. You can find Janelle at http://ohio.webfactional.com/faith_folly/.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shut Up, Shut Up, Shut Up – So Saith the Lord