Perhaps you have at more than one time or another in your life heard someone who’s words and thoughts uttered through outstretched lips has quickened your spirit. Made you feel. Made you inspired. Brought you to your feet. Caused you to shout with joy.
But when you try to speak you only wish you had half their voice. You find that your voice is tinny. Tiny. Pusillanimous. And you gave up.
I urge you to find your voice. God gave you a voice. His voice. Use it.
There have been many times I wanted to speak one on one with youths who I knew have had important and insightful things to say, but didn’t dare speak. Because they lack the language or wherewithal to pipe up. But where does this fear come from from? Frightened to speak their minds. It’s a tragedy.
I’ve seen the fear form in the dark corners of the mind. Shadowy places that hide things like judgmental parents. Dark realms like unwitting teachers. Sinister places like callous clergy. Evil places like bully’s. Hateful places like racists. Those places bring with them silence. They crave it. They plant and cultivate it in our youngest minds in hopes that by cultivating silent youths they will one day see equally silent adults. Silent and tolerant of the weakness they keep and fear they cling to.
What makes me happiest is to see a child who was scared to death of the stage, stand up on that stage and just stand there. Don’t have to do anything. Just to be there.
You see, it takes bravery beyond words just to be in the place where you belong. To stand in the spot that God tells you to be. Despite what the critic and hater may say so loudly. Oh yes they have much to say about that frightened child. But they are there. And look who is not. The critic. The hater. The racist. The ones who groused the hardest and longest. They are silent now and unable to stand up because the child has.
But no child does it alone. No child can. It’s up to you and me and all of us to help. To be an encourager. An uplifter.