My little Sweetness is almost 3 months old now and her voice is erupting. No longer just heard as cries, she is adding in coos and when we are really fortunate we are treated to a laugh. No easy feat, she works with great concentration to bring forth her sound. I watch her wiggling, an arm jabs out, feet kick, her entire face contorts. Then, then, an “oooh” or an “uuuuh.”She looks exceptionally pleased with herself and we respond accordingly. Such difficult work finding your voice, seemingly one of the last functions to arrive. Granted she doesn’t have full motor control and won’t until after some speech arrives but sharing her thoughts will come so much more slowly than sharing her ability to move. I get her struggle. At 53, I am still struggling to find and share my voice.
Like a small child learning to control her vocal muscles, my blog is just a year old and I am still learning what I want to say and how I want to say it. My faith is foremost and colors my writing. I have been given grace in very real ways and have to share how my life has been impacted by such close encounters with Holiness. An optimist who sees possibilities for others but finds my own internal wounds and hurts often get triggered in my personal interactions, I can be unsure and less than positive. As if the rainbow and sun shine more brightly on others, I am on the edge of the picture. Getting closer though, ever closer. What I have always known though is that my place of brokenness allows me to see others who might need some help speaking, some others who might not have their voice yet or who don’t get heard.
Like my Sweetness, struggling to say what I want to say can be a struggle, when the content is political. Does that belong in a faith-based blog? I have sat with this idea for days, lost sleep over this for days. I have been wrestling with how my voice is heard, how I share my words. My politics have never been the popular ones around any dinner table in my family. I am okay being the outcast there. But in my own blog, having to censor? It feels so wrong I almost lost my voice. An acute case of laryngal-blogitis. See, politics IS personal. I feel an urgency to speak up for groups more and more everyday, more and more groups everyday. My head is spinning and my fear level is ratcheting up, an inner tension reminiscent of that slow walk home when my father called just me back while everyone else got to stay out and play. Bad things were coming, back then I was helpless to stop them. Now though, as an adult, I can speak up. I feel called to speak up. I hear God telling me to notice the warning signs of danger coming and start yelling. Now like my little Sweetness, maybe the message comes out a bit rough at first, but still, the message… the coo, the ahh, the oooh, the highlights of discrimination and the ways we shame others. The worries about who will stand up for Others when this administration has created a mistrust so deep in true journalism, has trampled civil discourse and any semblance of honesty in the face of personal greed. If only I could ignore it all and only write about finding joy always. But I am having a hard time finding the joy when there is so much scariness about. I am scared.
Does this belong in my blog? A blog about brokenness and the search for grace? After much wrestling, I say yes. My voice is mine, I can only speak as God guides me and know that sometimes I will mess up along the way. My sweetness struggles so hard to talk sometimes the sound comes out around her diaper area instead of her lips. I may have those times too. In fact I am sure I will. Still, on the path of finding my voice and working all the muscles and kinks out, I am okay with that. We all learn to speak at different ages. It has taken me a bit longer. I find, after all of these years, I have much stored up to say. I find I have much that I notice, much that seems connected, much that must be voiced. So I write.
Ultimately, we all need to find our voices and use them to speak truth, to speak grace and to speak peace. Some conversations hit all three of those goals, some only one or two. Just as my truth is mine, yours is yours. Hopefully we can meet at the Cross to find our grace and peace. My friends, if you have found more “diaper moments” here than you prefer, I am sorry. Maybe over the course of the next year my voice will be so honed that diaper blowouts will be a thing of the past. Thanks for learning with me, for supporting me in this journey. Happy Birthday, Blog, we are a year old!