Posts Tagged 'laryngitis'

voiceless

i spent most of the month of february voiceless. i had a horrible round of viral laryngitis which left my voice completely inaudible for a good 2 weeks; hoarse or barely audible the rest of the time. it’s just been in the last 2 days that my voice has sounded mostly normal. it’s not unusual for me to have laryngitis occasionally, but i’d never had a round of it like this. the inability to physically speak for most of a month despite other ways to communicate was surprisingly isolating and physically struggling to be heard left me pondering being heard emotionally and spiritually.

it happens when i’m out to lunch with a friend catching up in person and then we’re interrupted by a tweet reply or a text or a facebook message and we find ourselves distracted. or maybe i actually use the phone function and call a friend to ask a quick question and end up catching them in a moment where they need to talk but i don’t have the time. these exchanges happen far more often than i’d like to admit, both on the receiving and giving end of the scenarios. when i’m the one who’s been distracted from the friend sitting in front of me or didn’t really have time to listen when i called, i feel guilty. often not in the moment, but when i reflect on it later. and i probably haven’t properly apologized to those to whom i’ve done it. and i know when i’m the one cut short or put on hold, it’s easy to feel dismissed, disconnected, unheard, voiceless.

it also happens in at church. all too often, especially when i’ve been on a church staff, church is often one more place where i feel compelled to “have it all together”. i’m afraid to admit my personal failings and struggles. and sadly, i’m even more afraid to admit my questions and doubts. i’m afraid of appearing not good enough or not faithful enough or too messy. church should be one of the safest places to admit our failings and struggles and questions and doubts.

i have two lingering questions coming out of this month of laryngitis: how can i best create spaces to truly hear the ones i’m with and honor their voices? and how can i make church a safer place to voice the messier bits of life and faith?

 

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