30 August 2008


I suppose I should simply cast from my mind these meaningless words of the coward; yet why does his plaintive voice pierce my breast with all the pain of a needle? Why has Our Lord imposed this torture and this persecution on poor Japanese peasants? No, Kichijiro was trying to express something different, something even more sickening. The silence of God.

Silence is a novel that does something that most contemporary "Christian" books do not. It describes faith the way it really seems to be: beautiful, hard, complex, and void of formulas. Living in the affluent suburbs of Atlanta where the church scene is dominated by market driven, numbers oriented philosophies, a book like Silence cleansed my palette to put it mildly. I had a lot of thoughts and feelings about the book, but the one, lasting bit from the book is this: There was/is only one Christ. I've known Christians who have spent a lot of time and energy trying to be something (or someone) that they could never be. It's a book that speaks to Job's pain. It's a book that speaks to the pain of feeling the silence of God in times that we feel we need to hear something, anything. It does not wrap up nicely in the end...kind of like life.