July 1st 2011

“Jon I have a discipline I want you to practice, do you know what that is?” he asked me

I knew the answer but I didn’t want to say it, “Silence” I finally answered, and with his confirmation I grew furious. The last thing I wanted to be was silent, and he was asking me to do it for a week, to be silent while I was in the community. Sure I could talk when I was outside of the house and separate from the others, like when  I’m at work, but when I’m here with my fellow interns I have taken a vow of silence.

Now if you know me, you know that I am horrible at this concept. This is not a new discipline for me, I’ve tried it before and that’s how I know I”m horrible at it. I like to talk about insights I or others might have, I love to talk in general, the conversation constantly draws me in. For this reason this next week is going to tough on me but hopefully in the end will be very beneficial to my spiritual walk. I have a hard time observing, but I can see the benefit in it.

It was totally dark “Put your hand in front of your face” David said “Can you see it?”

The Bleeding Places are the places where we come in our brokenness, a place where we get away from the world to deal with or numb our pain. We were in one of these bleeding places today, they call it the Dark Tunnel and it’s a tunnel where the homeless kids and adults go to sleep and shoot up. We worked out way up the tunnel by flashlight and then ten of us sat in the dark while our friends and guides talked about the tunnel and these bleeding places. We prayed over it and left all of us feeling something.

I think when you live in a small town you don’t see these bleeding places or the broken people. They are there, but they are not out front in the public eye and even though the city tries to cover them up they are still evident to those who are looking, they are not so much in small towns. I think things will be different when I make my summer trip back to Albany and then again when I return to Sterling in August.

I will be more alert to the bleeding places, the dark places, the hurting places. These are the places where hurting people go, where people who just want to numb the pain of living on the street or who’s lives seem unbearable. This is where they go and these are the places where God is whispering, “come back child, I will lift you up, it won’t be perfect, but I will lift you up”

During today’s tour I was totally silent and I think it helped me to realize the darkness and brokenness of the places and in my own life. It helped me to process the experience and seek God’s heart on the matter. I encourage you to go out in your town and find the broken places, find the places where God is whispering and coursing through as a healer and friend. Maybe in your brokenness, when you find these places, God will whisper to you “Come back child, I will lift you up, it won’t be perfect, but I will lift you up”

God Bless
Jon Faulkner