Sunday, January 12, 2014

Waiting in (relative) Silence

I am an impatient person. Waiting is always a tough thing for me and not being allowed to talk makes the waiting that much worse.

I can only imagine what Zechariah must have felt like when he was not able to speak as he and Elizabeth were expecting St. John the Baptist. Here he was, an old man, expecting his first child, (a son no less,) announced by an angel in the course of his priestly duties and he couldn't tell a soul.

Of course, it was his own fault because he didn't believe what the angel had told him and asked for another sign. So God did give him one:

From that point, Zechariah was unable to speak until his son had been circumcised and named "John". You have to wonder if Zechariah felt foolish later for pushing his luck asking for another sign.

When he finally was allowed to speak Zechariah's first words were the beautiful "Bendcictus" (Lk 1:68-79, KJV):

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
I always wondered why God took away Zechariah's ability to speak, but I think it has to do with appreciating the gifts that God had given him. Zechariah had been a good and upright servant of the Lord. He was a respected priest and had a good wife. He had even been granted a message delivered by an angel (not too many of those going around the Bible). But his disbelief that God could overcome any obstacle was a slap in God's face.

Following my thyroidectomy, the surgeon wanted me to talk. I'd been warned not to by many vocal rehab friends, so I've been going easy on my voice, but still using it a little. Today, when i spoke to my surgeon on the phone he said my voice sounds better than most of his patients at this stage. Actually, this does not fill me with confidence. I sound terrible.

Last night, while surfing the net I discovered that I really, truly, couldn't sing. I knew this, of course, in my head. But, you know how a tune will come into your head and you just start humming it? Well, that's what happened. Only I only had about three notes of range to work with. I could hear that my voice wasn't operating, and I couldn't make it do what I told it to do. It was startling.

I am so used to opening my mouth and having sound come out. I just take my voice for granted. It has always been there, and will always be there, right? Well, not necessarily. I was surprised, but not dismayed. But, I strongly suspect that I will appreciate the gift of music even more when/if I am able to sing again.

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