Silence of God

          He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
                          yet he did not open his mouth;
             like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
                          and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
                          so he did not open his mouth.
—Isaiah 53.7

             Jesus was silent and did not answer.

                          —Mk. 14.61

The innocent are always silent.
They cannot defend themselves.
They are as silent as God.

We imagine we would respond
if only we knew. But we hold
their vocal chords in our hands.

We despair of hearing the voice of God
but we have already heard
what we’re willing to hear.

The only way out of the impasse
is not to come to some judgment,
but to renounce all judgment,

not to speak but to listen to the silence,
even the most deep-throated,
gut-wrenching silence.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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