Unspoken Elephants

Last week, I received the call that I was being called up as an alternate to the fire management team for my unit.  Though I was told, I was not allowed to share this information with the rest of my team.  A couple of people knew, but it hung over the weekend like a cloud, threatening to break.  It was the elephant in the room that everyone ignored, that no one spoke of. 

Many times we find ourselves in that same situation.  Nobody speaks of faith, religion, politics, or all the other taboo topics, but they hang around in the air between us.  They make us uncomfortable and cautious.  We sooth our words and emotions, hiding who we really are and what we really think. 

Ignoring these elephants will not make them go away.  While I was unable to talk to my team about leaving to join the Fire Management team, that didn’t change the fact that I am going to be departing soon.  Just because we do not talk about our faith to others, out of fear, respect, or awkwardness, does not change the fact that we believe what we believe. 

But in not addressing these issues, we find ourselves living a lie.  We don’t speak what we really want to say.  We take the edge off of our words and say things that we truly do not believe.  We take our faith, our beliefs, our feelings and place them aside. 

If we ever want to truly live out our faith, we cannot have these unspoken elephants in the room with us.  Yes, our faith will offend some, but it will also open doors to alow us to talk freely.  It was difficult interacting with my team, even those who knew, while this information lingered in the air between us.  It was freeing to address the issue head on and get it out in the open.

On Sunday night, after coming out and telling my whole team that I was going to be leaving them in a matter of days, there seemed to be a heavy veil that was lifted off of everyone’s shoulders, not just my own.  We didn’t have to avoid the topic anymore, but were free to speak openly about it. 

By addressing these awkward situations, we may open doors that lead us into something deeper than a casual conversation, but a discussion, a debate, a chance to challenge what causes us to believe what we do.  We may discover something more, strengthen what we already believe, or realize that we are entirely human and wrong. 

We may get the opportunity to live and to love fully, without something between us and God. 

Take the chance and reveal the elephant in the room, you may be surprised at how little it becomes.

God Bless and PEACE

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