Thursday, July 14, 2016

Out Loud

Underneath all of my introversion and how-ladies-behave training, there is a Loud Voice. It was pretty much my normal talking voice as a child (imagine all of Junie B Jones' dialogue in ALL CAPS) but it's become shy with the passage of time. Now it only comes out when I'm perfectly comfortable and confident.

Which sometimes means that the Loud Voice expresses itself at odd times, as on a recent Sunday morning when I switched from normal voice to Loud Voice mid-song. Loud Voice sounds like a completely different person - not only does she project sound more clearly, she has a solid octave of additional range and a better ability to hit to the right note and stay on it than regular voice does (sadly, Loud Voice has only sung in front of people once or twice, as contrasted with the many times that normal voice yawned and squeaked through song leading and solos at the small country church I grew up in).

As much as I would like to, this isn't something I can control - at least, not if I'm just focusing on my speaking volume. Because Loud Voice isn't just a voice - she's also more likely to honestly compliment another person, a more engaged conversationalist, a more thoughtful friend, a more creative artist... she is who I am when I'm being me, and not just a manufactured version of myself.

Sometimes we think (usually because someone has told us so) that we are "too much," so we dial back whatever-it-is that we are until we become a different person entirely, maybe even without realizing it. But we can't "do [the] good works which God prepared in advance for us to do" if we're busy painting over the masterpiece He created when He made each of us.*

This world needs more Loud, to speak up against injustice. It needs more Bold, to invite and engage even when it's uncomfortable to do so. It needs more Vibrant, a banner of love to stand against the polluted skies. And it needs all of us, just as we are - loud, quiet, doers, givers, servers, makers, thinkers and everyone in between - to point to the extraordinary God who designed and loves us, every one.

*Ephesians 2:10 - "For we are God's masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

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