There are many voices that we hear, day after day, year after year, hour after freaking hour. Dr. Seuss would write about how there are loud voices, soft voices, left voices, right voices. Some of these voices are good, some hurt. What I’ve learned about voices is that they can be written AS A SCREAM!!, they can whisper through somebody’s thoughtful actions, they can be a blow to the face in a sarcastic cartoon. Some of these voices should be drowned, like the billboards on the side of the otherwise nostalgic I-35! Some of these voices should be absorbed like the well-given advice of a mentor. Some of these voices should become gentler or kinder, more genuine or passionate. Yet, there are some which should be like gasoline to a fire. These are the voices that slice through you like a Kuhn Rikon. Some of us hear them, and being as soft and sweet as we are, we take them to heart, like a chef’s clean swipe to the pit of the peach–We believe there to be hidden truth or beauty unveiled between those god-forsaken bits of alphabet. Yet, these are NOT the wise words of truth flourishing from the abiding vines we know as our friends, parents, or accountability partners, these are the rotten and wicked words of the hurting and breathless hearts who have yet to hear from the Lord. It’s hard living ‘out in the world’. It’s hard to distinguish the growth of humility, from the growth of pride-based-people-pleasing shyness, of which I have known rather intimately. Courage is elemental in not only becoming who you are meant to be and yada-yada, all those ridiculous sentimental terms I often peg on this site, but it is essential to becoming more like Christ. To eating the word of God as though it was indeed your daily peanut butter. To open your mouth and share life with people, even the basics. In this way, we open doors into relationships, we open doors to all the multitude of things we haven’t learned yet, and we save each others’ butts. We cover the bases, we look out for one another, not our number one. Sometimes, it takes a long, hefty lesson in courage for one person to learn to be quiet. Sometimes it takes a long, hefty lesson of courage for a person to learn to be LOUD, to speak up, even if it’s only about the darn kitchen faucet, and when it does come out…(for example) don’t be the plumber guy who tells her she was hallucinating dripping sounds or you may in fact be setting a seemingly unimportant, freaking fire to the dry wood of her confidence! Because this may have been that altogether strange moment so necessary to pull her from her self-constructed box to rise to the occasion to speak up! If you want to silence someone, do the opposite of what seems natural–go behind the door (alone!) and pray for that is the Lord’s work to accomplish. If you want to see someone wake up, speak that thing to them, preferably with all malice and disdain, so as to ignite that furnace already constructed, and watch the transformation. Tell me I can’t do it, tell me it’s impossible, tell me you’re unsure of my confidence. Watch me take it to the Lord and watch him turn it into beauty. And if you call me mean for being strait forward, if you call me OCD for requiring standards, slip your hand in mine and teach me a better way. There isn’t a person I don’t like.
And if you’re going to talk, say what you’re going to say–How can we overcome these barriers of organic tissue if we can’t depend on honesty? How can we show each other compassion if there are no stories? It’s time to listen to the stories. It’s time to drench the ones we create in God-granted love. Burn on, my friends!