Listening not speaking all the time..!
SOME time back I’d lost my voice. “Come back voice!” I shouted silently to my voice, but only a hoarse guttural sound came out of my tired throat. “Laryngitis,” said my doctor wife with professional tone. “What do I do?” I asked. “Nothing,” she said with glint in eye, “Just keep quiet!”
“Salt water gargle,” laughed my daughter vindictively. I tried. Salt water trickled down to stomach below and t’was the dreadful sea sickness all of a sudden, with tummy adding to my voice box woes. “Honey,” said a choral singer. “Honey?” asked the wife. “Yeah,” I said slurping the sticky stuff. “No honey,” said the wife, “Not good for you.” “Good for my throat,” I shrieked shrilly. “No honey!”
A friendly medical book gave me a week to recover. “A week!” I shrieked to hardcover book and looked at diagram of larynx sketched so neatly in descriptive page. The vocal chords in book looked angry red, I wondered whether mine were deep purple. ‘ Exposure to certain harsh chemicals or toxins can cause vocal chords to swell,’ said the book. I grabbed newspaper. ‘ Garlic is a good remedy for toxins,’ it said. I rubbed garlic on throat, inside mouth and nearly onto vocal chords.
“Strange smell,” said the wife that night. “Dead rat,” said the maid next day. “Garlic,” I mumbled sheepishly. “Yuck,” said the wife. “Yuck!” said the maid. I looked up. “Give me back my voice,” I prayed. “Listen,” said the Lord. “Yes I’m listening,” I said, “To what?” “Just listen,” said the Lord. “Listen. Listen. Listen!”
I did. “No voice,” I croaked as quiet neighbour got in step with me for my morning walk. “No problem,” said the neighbour. “My father passed away, last week and I can’t get over the grief.” I listened. He poured his heart out to me.
“Thanks,” he said, “I feel better.” “But I didn’t say anything!” I thought. “You listened!” said a quiet voice above. That evening at the local choir performance, I stood dumb. The man at my side, who I always outshouted with my loud voice could be heard today, because mine was silent. I listened, I heard him sing out. It sounded old, papery thin. But somewhere in the audience I saw a woman smile. She waved, she was his wife, she had heard her husband’s voice, at last, because mine was silent! At my side I felt his smile. Now, he stood straight, his tired voice now sang out loud and firm.
I felt a God above smile. “Listen,” said the Lord. “I am Lord,” I whispered, “I am!” That night as I knelt in prayer I heard His silent voice saying, “You know Bob, there’s so much I have to say to you each day.” “Why don’t you Lord?” I asked. “Because there’s always so much you have to say!” I was glad I had lost my voice, because I listened, speechless..! — Email: bobsbanter@ gmail. com