A Moment of Silence
Just before we started to play our game, our atheist friend said, “Let’s have a moment of silence for ___ who has passed on.”
I don’t remember the person who passed, but I do remember thinking, “Why are we having a moment of silence? Even more, why is my atheist friend suggesting we have one?”
During that moment, I prayed for the family members who are still living that God would grant them peace during their grief. What did my atheist friend do at the same time?
What do atheists do during moments of silence? They can’t pray; there is no one they acknowledge to pray to.
Do they count seconds, fill the time of respect by counting numbers? What does it mean to them to have those moments for the one now dead? And why bother, if they believe the dead person cannot either hear, see or feel their thoughts?
Is it a part of the grief process, to help them move on? If so, why tell all of us, who might know the person less well, to perform this imposed moment of silence? What does it mean for an atheist to give respect for the dead? Who are they giving respect to, and why?
My friend’s request still makes no sense to me. Nothing is there for him. All is gone except memories, and those memories crop up during the remainder of a living person’s life, not just during that particular moment.
But I do know what Christians do during requested moments of silence. We invite a loving, living, caring, ACTIVE Savior to comfort those who have lost their loved one. We do so knowing that this Savior wants to do these actions of peace and comfort because that is His nature. We ask for words to say that will bring healing. We cry with the grieving; we laugh with those sharing funny anecdotes of their lives.
And we know that this death is not the end of our relationship with Christian loved ones. We will see them later, in a place where our tears are all wiped away and joy floods our very souls.
Our thoughts during moments of silence are active and powerful, for there is no greater power than to ask for the presence of the living God.