What a gift - silence. In its presence all is possible, renewal and healing are approachable through new avenues.
To be bound up in our joints is to not be able to move. It is like the childhood game of Statue, at some moment we take a shape and are frozen. A word in the midst of our silence is needed.
Jesus question about the lawfulness of healing or curing implies that the law can be construed, if not literally quoted, to restrain the bringing of new life. In the face of such laws sometimes the best one can get is silence so that a good can be done.
It must be noted that acting in the midst of silence runs similar dangers as being in a closet. Sometimes a glimmer of intended integrity can occur, but it is always in the context of a danger of someone coming out of a trance or later remembering and seeking revenge.
In other contexts, a meal, that same silence holds dangers even for those who are privileged. Determining the etiquette of space not always self-evident. It is all to easy to usurp someone’s space and you will pay for it, then or later. Jesus’ comment about assuming a lower place is the equivalent of acting in the midst of silence. There is freedom in both silent space and lower place - freedom to act, freedom to model better living, freedom to expand love.
At a non-traditional wedding yesterday, I was privileged to read a translation of 1 Corinthians 13 by one of the partners. It began:
If I speak in human language or in that of the messengers, but do not have love (the love that is passionately committed to the well-being of the other), I am a resounding piece of copper or a clanging cymbal.They felt it important to say more than the standard “love” and assume everyone present would know what they meant - the love they wanted to participate in and that Jesus demonstrates in this pericope is “the love that is committed to the well-being of the other.”
You may want to write that down so that every time you hear someone talking generically about love, you can remember the kind of love in which you are looking to participate in your space, your place.