My son called to check on me this past Tuesday. He wanted to see how my writin
g was going and how I was feeling. We are a lot alike, so he knows how mental I can get.
He was frustrated, and it was over a Facebook post with someone that he restects. He said that they had a “discussion” and he had gotten irritated. He said that he was glad that the post was taken down, but he was frustrated with himself. So he was thinking about just deleting his account for a while, which I think is a good idea. It is hard. I am his mom and know about the potential I see in him, but I also know of the demons he fights.
So I asked him about his voice? You see, I started to write about my own voice the other day. Not the one I sing with, as it is nothing to write home about. It is the one that is heard by what I communicate with my life. I was unable to finish the thoughts, but I decided to share with him what I started to write.
We all have a voice. It is the things we think and feel. It is our views, the things we consider important and our character. Our voice comes through the words we speak, what we may write and how we act. Some people have a voice that reaches millions, but most of us have a much smaller circle where we are heard. My son has some good verbal skills. He is a pretty good talker, and because of that, I encourage him to use his words wisely. He has yet to fully adopt this advice, but I am hoping that he will one day.
Each of our voices are important, but there are times where I believe that my voice was silent. When I was young, I was afraid to ask questions, to give answers or just in general talk to those in authority. It made going to school very hard. I told my son the story of not wanting to sneeze in class when I was in fifth grade. Why? Well my teacher would say “God bless you”, and he would expect you to say “thank you”. I can remember sitting there, trying so hard not to sneeze. It was supposed to be all very pleasant, but because of his authority over me, it was breathtakingly scary. I shared a few other anecdotes to give him a better picture, but they are much more embarrassing, so I will keep those between us.
I told him that even now, I have to fight to put my voice out there. That my intent is to use my voice as a means to glorify God, and to the gifts He has given me to encourage people.
Since encouragement comes through my words I am working hard, not to be silent. A fact to which my husband and boys can attest. I told my son that his voice is important too. That there is someone, that he hasn’t met yet, that will need to hear what he has to say. That he should not let things that are not important silence that voice. Through my life there have been times that I have been made silent by fear. I suggested to him that because of anger, he may effectively silence himself.
Why is it so important?
We are a world that has a lot of problems, but I believe there is a God who can transform. I told my son that when he talks with people with differing views, the point is not to get them to change their minds, it is to make them think. To spur them to seek wisdom from God, not to just win the argument.
He thanked me and we got off the phone, and I was pleased with the conversation. The last thing I asked him was to really think about what I had said, and even consider the effect his voice could have on his community. I listed the problems we had discussed, and reminded him that there is a way for these problems to disappear. It takes people loving God and then loving our neighbor as ourselves. In his community, it can start with him. In mine, it can start with me. And even though I write in a blog that effectively, anyone around the world can read. My real sphere of influence is right here in my own community. This is where my voice can be heard best, and those around me get to see if I truly live according to my words.