To Be Heard

- Adam Lorenz

I recently found myself alone on a bus. The purr of the engine and the rumble of the tires on the road somehow made it serene, a momentary sabbatical during a busy day. As suddenly as this tranquil moment began, it ended with an incoming passenger throwing their bag into the bus and yelling at the driver as they boarded. They were livid, and I might add they had a unique talent for articulating a variety of certain four letter words all towards the public transportation system. And as they made their way to a seat in the back they finish this tirade with: ‘I know it’s not your fault.’

As if this made it ok to lay into the innocent driver.

We long to be heard. We long to know someone else understands our situation in life – unfortunately our outbursts can be directed at the innocent, those who just happen to be at the wrong place – at the wrong time. In our wake, no matter the truth that we might be articulating. A fool is often made and that fool is us.

Herein lay the tension. The frustration we feel, the injustice we’ve experience, and the heartbreak that has left it’s mark on us needs to be acknowledged – for our sanity and for others to understand the power of their actions. We know that real change can only occur when open and honest communication occurs, communication that invites all parties into the process of restoration and reconciliation.

Why, O Lord, do you stand far off?

Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

  --Psalm 10:1

There are parts of Psalms where we read of lament, of frustration, of loss, and the dismay of individuals. Individuals who cast their doubts on who God is and what God is doing. Throughout the centuries these words somehow became Sacred. Their words became ours, our loss echoed theirs, we became one in our shared experience. And like the individual I encountered on the bus, they often end in a, ‘I know it’s not your fault’.

Sometimes, in order to be heard, we must first hear. To be seen, first see. Who are the people you pass by everyday? Who are the people whose voice you often don’t listen to? Whose story hasn’t been heard? How can we lend our voice to the voiceless?

In doing so, they are heard, you are heard, I am heard and we all are known. And God responds with the whispered reminder that ‘I am here’.

Adam Lorenz is a rider, a thinker, and a lifer. His passion and belief in the power of young people has led him to work with high school and emerging adults for the past 8 years and is currently serving as the Youth Minister at Grace Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids, MI. He is nearing the completion of his Master of Divinity at Western Theological Seminary and writes at Follow his daily thoughts on Twitter at @adamlorenz.