I can't count how many times I've watched people, wanting to join in their conversation, only to freeze, to stare, to mouth words that don't come out because my heart is beating too fast.
I have lived too long in the silence.
I have a voice.
Yet, I don't remember having it. I lost that voice long ago, beaten back into a cage, and, yes, I was the one who locked the door. But the blame, is it mine?
I think not. There were too many circumstances for a young girl to handle, and what was I to do, with nowhere to turn?
Oh, what does it matter? Oh, friend, there's always enough blame to send around. I've lavished it on me, on you, on them. Hey, free blame for everyone!
My counselor, the first day I saw her, told me "You lost your voice. We have to work to find it again."
Maybe that's why I write. I began writing as a child because my daydreams could come true on a page. And maybe somewhere, I hoped, they were real. So, you see, writing gives me a voice; it makes me real.
Maybe here, on this blog, is where the redemption of a voice began. It's a nice thought.
Because here, here I remain quiet, but I can speak. Freely. I can say what I need to say. It is almost easy.
And yet ... there are so many voices.
We have lived too long in the noise.
We have a voice.
Yes, and we've used those voices to bless and curse, to tell gay
people "I love you so I'm saying you're heading to hell", to shame the
pregnant woman while condemning abortion, to mock Catholics and
Emergents and anyone who wasn't us. On the flip side, we've called believers idiots and laughed at their core identities. We've all hurt us because we hurt us.
This is naught but noise and confusion, so is it any wonder those who believe differently are disregarded?
I don't want to join the noise, despite its attraction (and, yes, it is attractive).
And so I will lift up my voice and tell you my fears and doubts and dreams and hope. I will try not to be ashamed of believing in God in the midst of rampant doubts. I will cry honesty with every means I have.
I have a voice, and I can ask, and I want to ask: Do you care? Do you love me, do you hate me? Will you listen?
I asked, Do you care?
Will you care if I say I'm scared I've turned liberal? (Or, let's be real: I'm scared because I've become a liberal. Read into that what you will).
And you? What are your struggles and dreams? Are you happy? I want to hear from you.
Because I have a voice, I want to listen.