So last week my sweet Avonlea left me a note on my pillow asking if she could play the computer in the morning. Unfortunately Grant found the note before I did and taking a piece of my stationary he answered it. A very confused little woman sought me out the next day. "Mommy this note is signed by you but it's not your handwriting! Did you write this?"
The note read, "No you can't play computer because you are nauthy. I have work to do. play with Grant. Mommy"
Grieved that the spelling issues didn't tip her off, I replied, "No, I didn't write that Avonlea and you did just right by coming to me and asking."
She tripped off to play the computer with my blessing.
My house is very quiet these days. That's because I'm not talking. I'm narrating a Good Friday service and I'm singing in three Easter services. So, I need to take care of the goods, grease down the engine, or whatever. Every year this happens. The week before my voice is needed it decides to go on vacation somewhere. It's rather incredible. I'm chugging lemon tea and honey and gargling salt water but the best advice I've gotten was "do not talk." It sounds so easy - zip your lips and throw away the key! But the words that would be stifle and choke and long for expression. And I have to wonder, why would God give me a voice to use for Him and then take it away when I try to do so. As this thought was making it's circuit in my mind the above story of the note keep coming up to jog alongside it. I thought about my advice to Avonlea, if in doubt over the validity of something ask the assumed giver. So I did and He replied in James 1.
"Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows...everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.....if anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless."
The light blinked on. This enforced silence is a gift. A time to be obedient to God in private before I am obedient in public. A time to chastise this unruly tongue of mine. An opportunity to examine the thoughts internally that normally would have been spoken in haste. Last year my voice came back right before I needed it and the enforced silence filled me with suppressed expression that found it's way out in the services. I pray that the same thing will happen this year and that this week of quiet will not be in vain.