where’s my voice?

About a month ago I came down with a vicious sickness that left me with walking pneumonia and since the 10th of December I either haven’t been able to sing at all or I’ve been squawking it out with a pretty limited range. As a vocalist and as a church worship leader, this has been an incredibly frustrating month. Not to mention that Christmas Eve, even though it worked out beautifully (and it really did!) was not what I had planned. But what are plans right? Our personal dictation to the future? The future snickers at us.

So I’ve been feeling sorry for myself quite a bit as of late. Wondering how long this will last and taking it personally; like life is being mean to me by not letting me “express myself.” Sure, to a degree there is a physiological response when we can’t fully do what we normally do, be it physically, mentally, artistically or even professionally. However, as is usually the case, I had a much needed wake up call the other night.

Through a video I saw, I was reminded of the millions and millions of people around the globe that essentially have no voice. They are stuck in their situation of extreme poverty and hunger and sometimes violence with no way out. They live in tin shacks, or tents or nothing. Sickness prevails with little to no treatment. Their water is polluted. Each day is an intense struggle with no end or hope in sight.

Then there are millions of us that sit in warm houses with cabinets full of food. And while we sit on cushy couches turning up the volume on our favorite show or game, those with no voice get quieted that much more.

Yeah, my singing voice is crap right now and I have no clue when that will change, but I’m not mute. My “voice” is not limited to notes sung into a microphone. There are other ways for me to speak out in compassion. Whether it is listening to someone who is hurting, giving to a charity, figuring out what is at the root of my kids’ tantrum, spending time volunteering in my community where there is need, educating myself on what my spending or eating habits are doing to the planet, animals, or even my own body, and then acting on that, I have a voice and so do you.

We each have our own songs to sing in 2013. Don’t shy away from the mic. Someone is counting on you to take your turn.