“Around us there is the presence of evil. The devil is at work. But in a loud voice I say: GOD IS STRONGER.”
– Pope Francis
I had no sooner regained my sight with LASIK surgery than I was stricken with the worst and only case of laryngitis I’ve ever experienced. My mouth would move, and nothing would come out. Instead of just ignoring me as usual, my children would giggle at the high-pitched, crackling sound that vaguely resembled a reprimand. I couldn’t order ice cream at our favorite place. I couldn’t even explain to the doctor on the phone what was going on. Everything else felt fine but I couldn’t utter a peep. My wife was in Heaven. I thought perhaps it was related to the medicine I was taking for my eyes but when I met with the nurse, she pointed at my Catholic Leadership Institute t-shirt and quipped, “Nah, I think God just wanted you to be quiet for a little while.”
I smirked at her, wondering how many members in my family, those on the team at CLI, or any number of people throughout the Church would support her claim. As I sat in silence, with only the voices in my head, I thought about the value of a voice. I was grateful for not just the sound that comes out (that I was desperate to have back) but the forums and platforms in which I can participate, the networks and communities that I can access, the roles I get to play, and the responsibilities I am blessed to have.
In life and leadership, how does my voice reverberate? Does it propel simple narratives or seek deeper truth? Does it challenge others or repel them? Is my voice informed by those on whose behalf I am privileged to speak or by those who truly have no voice? As a disciple, am I intentional about speaking as one, “who comes in the name of the Lord?” And more importantly, can I choose to be silent to allow His voice to be heard?
After only a few days without a voice, it was amazing how much I learned from listening. As we enter this Easter season, may we be people who commit to listening first so that we are better equipped to proclaim the hope and power of the Resurrection. Happy Easter!
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