You know how easy it is to take things for granted? Your job, your family, your home, your health, the little and big things that make every day go by without you thinking about them? More and more often, I am being reminded of those things. And each time I’m reminded, I have to pause and say a prayer of thanks for all that I take for granted.
Tonight, I am thanking God for the beauty of speech. A silly prayer, you think? Doubtful. In my job, I talk to people all day long. I keep an iPod at my desk, playing tunes all day long. Soulful crooning, scratchy-voiced hard rock, throaty jazz – I’m filling my ears with voices all day long. And every day as I buckle my seat belt and pull out of the parking lot, I’m putting my cell phone to my ear and calling someone to chat all the way home.
You’d think the human voice is one thing I wouldn’t take for granted. My best friend permanently lost her ability to speak when I was 16. It’s incredible that she survived her medical trauma, and her lack of speech and motor skills is probably a small price to pay. But it hurts my heart to this day that I cannot pick up the phone and hear her laughter trill back at me. A piece of my world is missing because when I talk to her, I cannot get her opinion back on the matter. She couldn’t tell me what she thought about me graduating high school without her, she couldn’t shriek with excitement the night I got engaged, she couldn’t make a toast on my wedding day. She can’t even tell me to “move my fat ass off” if I weigh too much when I sit with her in her recliner. I’ve learned the value of speech and voice the hard way. And, yet, I still take it for granted.
A fellow blogger brought this reality back to the forefront of my mind today with her aptly-written post.
The human voice is an amazing thing. The trebles and basses and every note in between are incredible. Think about it – a small tremble in my tone can immediately cause your ears to pick up on something out of place. More amazingly, your ears can pick that tremble apart to the point where you can tell if I’m voicing fear, sadness, distress, or maybe just a disguised hiccup. On the other hand, my sharper tone will immediately let you know that I’m angry or unhappy. Even my dog can pick up on the tone in my voice, and despite the language barrier between species, he can tell what kind of mood I’m in.
If you’ve always chattered back and forth with no second thought, this may seem a silly post in your mind; maybe this makes no sense to you. But for anyone who has ever felt that gargantuan lacking void of another human voice from someone who physically cannot speak, you know the enormity & beauty of speech. Better than any other, you know it.
The human voice is a tool capable of so many things – use it kindly.