So the vocal pathologist tells me I don’t talk enough. I don’t actually use my voice enough, and that to be able to regain the strength for my singing I must talk more. I’m laughing because when was the last time you heard anyone tell a woman to talk more? I’ll grant you, I don’t talk much. It’s not the first time I’ve been told that. My words are usually either written or sung. Written because…well…backspace and erase keys are my friends. Talking means forgetting yourself a bit and being less careful with sentence structure, and the possibility that some of the ugly inside will get out. And once the ugly is out, spoken aloud, there’s no denying it and there’s no way to undo the hurt or harm that might be caused by the caustic stew, and aren’t people worth more than that?
Trust me, I’m thinking of you when I hold my peace. I’m thinking of all the times I’ve said the wrong thing, misstated things until someone is angry and hurt and it wasn’t even what I meant. And the times when someone is hurt and angry and it was exactly what I meant, but the minute I’ve carved someone up with my words, I am wishing I could take all that ugliness back.
How to speak without ugly, that is the problem; how to say good things and not harmful things, how to speak grace and forgiveness and blessing into someone’s life and to keep my own sinful heart from spilling through my lips, that’s the struggle.
Sadly, some people take my silence as accusation, as criticism, as harsh. It’s exactly the opposite, I’m afraid. My silence is protection. I’ve tromped over tender hearts too often, angered sullen teenagers, hardened hearts, made things worse instead of better.
So…how to speak more without spewing forth, and maybe doing my heart some good in the meantime? How about speaking forth Psalms, prayers, scripture? How about reading aloud the services of the church? Now there’s a plan!