I am speechless.
Well, to be more accurate, I am voiceless. As in no voice. Laryngitis. Something I have never experienced. It gives me a new appreciation for being able to speak, because I have a lot to say, even if I choose not to say it. But I now have no choice, no voice.
I can listen. And I can whisper.
But in a crowd, I am unheard.
I was able to portray being John the Baptizer and share the early life of Christ to the kids at Bible Adventure. God gave him a powerful message to declare and then a voice with which to do it. What would have happened if he had ‘lost his voice?’ I, on the other hand, noticed afterward my throat felt scratchy.
I was able to talk to a few at our family reunion – people I rarely see and am interested in their lives. I found, even then, I chose to use my words sparingly and asked more questions so I could listen and not have to speak much. Technically, this is my ‘normal’ mode, but I was much more aware of it as I could feel my voice becoming a bit squeaky and weak.
What if those words I spoke were the last words I could ever speak? Makes me think about what I say. Have I chosen words that build up, or words that tear down? Words that speak life – or not? Words are truly like seeds that go through the ears and down to the hearts of others. What seeds am I sowing? What fruit will come forth? “Let the words of my mouth …….be pleasing to You….” Words filled with honor, and truth and life. Words of hope.
It truly is frustrating to not be able to speak. There is more I wish I could say. And yet there are many who literally have no voice. Babies in the womb, with others left to determine the course of their lives. Non-verbal individuals who depend on caregivers to ‘read’ their thoughts or feelings.
We all want to be heard. I take a lot for granted, even my voice. It is a gift, not a right.
Surprisingly, however, I notice that it also is empowering to be only able to whisper. Those who truly want to hear what I have to say, need to stop what they are doing, lean in and with great intention, listen to my whispering. In a world where we don’t often look at one another because we are multi-tasking, it requires a setting down of what we are doing. It requires leaning in closer. It even requires sacrifice.
When others do this, it makes me feel valued, like my words are important and worth hearing. And if there are those who don’t take the time or make the effort, it’s ok. If they don’t want to hear me amidst all the other noise and voices of life, I will not (truthfully, I literally CANNOT) raise my voice for their attention.
Kind of gives me deeper understanding about hearing the voice of God. Is it up to Him to shout in order to get my attention, or is it rather up to me to seek it?
He is not voiceless.
He has much to say.
What He says is priceless.
Will I in 2020 put things down, lean in closer, and give heed to His words?