a time to speak

“[There is] a time to be silent and a time to speak.”
– Ecclesiastes 3:7b

I’m going to be honest: I’m a little afraid to jump back into the whole blogging thing.

I used to share my writing publicly all. the. time. It used to feel pretty natural and not scary at all. Unfortunately, the internet is a different beast than it was 5 years ago, and people are less kind than they’ve ever been. It seems like it, anyway. That’s especially true when it comes to controversy, and my thoughts on things have been nothing if not controversial these days.

For the past 3-5 years or so, I’ve largely remained silent in the public sphere, at least as far as things concerning spirituality, social justice, and politics go. I’ve been active on Adventure & the Wild’s social media channels for the past year and a half, but other than that, I’ve opted to listen and observe rather than add to the noise.

Over the past few weeks, though, I’ve felt a strong impression that it’s time for me to speak. I’m hesitant, because the last thing I want to do is make the world noisier than it already is. At the same time, there comes a point when silence does more harm than good. I’ve seen too much injustice, too many misunderstandings, too many assumptions presented as fact, too many complex, nuanced concepts that have been oversimplified to make them seem ridiculous, and I can’t stay silent.

I can’t solve the world’s problems, as much as I wish I could. But if I fail to even try to do my part, to use what I do have to offer, well, that’s on me. It’s not my responsibility to do everything, but it is my responsibility to do something. And so, I will write the truth as I see it. Even it’s uncomfortable and not as simple or flattering as I would like. 

Ultimately, I want to create space for love and understanding, even in the hardest conversations and sharpest disagreements. Not in a naive, feel-good, head-in-the-clouds kind of way, but in a very real, very concrete, often difficult kind of way. The kind of love and compassion that Jesus called us to, over and over again. It’s rarely easy, but it’s always—always—worth it.

Brittany Stoess