Please scream inside your heart by Suria Scholtz
During yet another ZOOM meeting the other day, the phrase, “You are on Mute,” came up. No matter how many times I have attended meetings like ZOOM or Google Meet this year, one person always forgets to unmute themselves. Happily chatting away, the host then has to call them back, for a false start is a false start – even online! One participant called it the most repeated phrase in 2020, and I think he is right… or maybe not!
It seems Covid19 has led to all kinds of new words and phrases and that not just in English. While established terms such as ‘pandemic’, ‘quarantine,’ and ‘lockdown’ have increased in use, neologisms are coined faster than ever. While I no longer suffer from ‘Blursday’ (an unspecified day because of lockdown’s disorientating effect on time) I think that ‘WFH’ (working from home) may become a global trend.
Not since the great wars has the world been so dramatically impacted. The fact that we are more digitally connected, meant that we shared our common experiences (and newly coined phrases) far and wide. In the process, language became a type of ‘social glue,’ that helped people articulate their worries and fears.
And yet, in spite of new avenues to communicate and connect, many felt muffled, muted, and mystified by the whole global shutdown. The elderly, for one, suffered immensely as did those already living alone. Students moved back in with their parents, teenagers moved into their rooms, children moved to the front of the TV and parents moved online.
With a few exceptions here and there, most tolerated their “new normal,” rather than embrace it. Surviving more than thriving, frustration built up in all sorts of ways as strict lockdown dragged into its third, then fourth month. Then I read about a Japanese theme park in June who asked its guests to ride its roller-coasters in silence. In the instructional video, two well-dressed men, wearing face masks, ride one of the park’s roller-coasters in complete silence. Afterwards a Japanese language message appears, encouraging participants to “please scream inside your heart.” 
The phrase spread like wildfire and was soon labelled as the motto of 2020, as many believed that the theme park inadvertently summarized the way many have felt after months of the coronavirus epidemic.
Yet long before the coronavirus, people have been screaming inside their hearts. Muted by restrictive governments, toxic workplaces, religious persecution or abusive husbands, the silent screams of far too many, have been bottled up for far too long. Afraid of the powers that be or rejection or afraid to lose their jobs, they pretend rather than honestly speak up. Even when unmuted, you will seldom get the real story, for safe environments are scarce.
But God – whether we sigh or shout, whimper or wail, He cares and He listens. David, totally honest, even blunt, never got tired of pouring out his heart before God. Just glancing through Psalms 12 and 13, I find ample evidence of this. Unafraid to ask questions, show doubt or be upset, David laments, complains and objects before He adores and worships.
Thus, my advice for this week…
If you pause, pause in His presence!
If you linger, linger in His love!
Savour your time with the Saviour and learn to be patient with His patience!
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