Friday, April 18, 2008

My Freeway "Voice Over"

Yesterday on the long drive north to my final Gateway U Powerful Conversations course, I gave God my voice.

"He has made my mouth like a sharpened sword' -- Isaiah 49:2

We were talking about my speaking ability and I was listing off for him all the ways I felt that my skills as a public speaker (and even in private conversation) were not up to snuff. And finally I took a breath and asked him to comment on all I had just shared. And he said, "Will you give me your voice?"

An image came to my mind in that instant, a memory of a particular day many years ago, when I surrendered to God my writing...literally, I gave him my "pen" and it has been his ever since. This moment, in the car stuck in rush hour traffic on my way to class, felt holy like that.

Of course, I said yes...immediately. I said it a few times in fact, just to be certain I was being sincere. And then I asked, "What will you do with my voice, now that you have it?" And that's when Isaiah 49:2 came to mind, and I realized that even though I had recently spent weeks meditating on that passage, I had always thought of it in terms of my wordsmithing skill rather than my speaking voice. And I also thought how all of my adult life I have carried a quiet belief that my voice tended to have a calming effect on people. I'd noticed over the years of leading that my voice seemed to cover people with a warm blanket of peace and stillness. So I've never thought of my voice as being a sharp sword. But I've always wanted that...a voice that cuts, strikes to the heart and rouses the soul. And so it seems, in God's hands, that may be the voice I will have.

I speak tomorrow morning at the Gateway Men's Breakfast. I'm excited! The message is strong, and I know it in my bones. I'm bringing these men my gift. And, perhaps, a sword.

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