The Sound of Silence is a song written by Simon and Garfunkel and performed with eerie excellence by the band, Disturbed.
I was brought to tears as I listened to these prophets of our culture – evocatively singing this dirge of modernity. The reason I wept is because as I listened, I heard the deafening silence that is the voice of hundreds of female children in our region who are birthed into a culture of rape. The song tells the story of how a jarring and subversive vision awoke the writer from sleeping. He goes out to the streets and stumbles through a gritty city-scape peopled by masses inhabiting silence. Silence in the song is a metaphor for emptiness/no meaning. These masses have no human connections and the hegemony of the culture, referred to as the “neon god they made” allows no voice or action to break the silence – that grows like cancer. The only sound that can break through is the voice of prophets written on subway walls and tenement halls – for these are the only places where voices of difference are allowed.
The imagery of the song brought to mind the reflections of an ancient king,
“surely every person walks about as a phantom; surely they make an uproar for nothing”
A phantom lacks the weightiness that makes something real and tangible. A phantom is a nothing-in-itselfness. What would the uproar of a nothing sound like?
When people are treated like nothing-in-itself, having no weight or significance or value then the uproar they make is the sound of silence.
The female children born into a culture of rape often become the pregnant teens of our city. Thunder Bay has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the province and 3x the national average. The uproar of those little girls screams of pain as they were miserably mistreated along their journey to womanhood was the sound of silence. And now, these phantom girls are birthing the next generation of nothing-in-itself women.
Lord Jesus, unsettle us in our sleep with jarring and subversive visions of beauty and life, wholeness and innocence- the dim memories of a world that once chose to rest in the safe and steadfast arms of God. And when we arise, strengthen our hearts to believe that your kingdom has come and is coming – on earth as it is in heaven. Bring heaven down, Bring heaven down. Bring heaven down through our selfless love. Bring heaven close as we come close. Amen