Back when I preached three or four services a Sunday, I got to the point where I hated the sound of my own voice. I hated my intonations. I wanted to shutupshutupshutup. Someone was boring me, and it was myself, as Dylan Thomas said one drunk afternoon in Wales.
For an introvert I had to talk and write – very publicly – a lot. Telephone, meetings, sermons…I was exhausted by the avalanche of my own words. When I took up blogging in lieu of preaching, it seemed quieter, but the sheer weight of the written words bore me down too. My goth girl group – The Goth and More Blogging Community – writes, and vlogs. (I should say, goth girl group except for one – Anuan – who gamely puts up with les girls and advises us on historicity and swords.) I should do a vlog – I should explain Plain dress, and Plain life – but then I think about the sheer performance that requires, and I hesitate.
If one thing goes wrong with producing my blog, I freeze, dump the effort, and lose my momentum. Oh, yes, I must get over this. We are talking about very public ministry – on the street, in weekly services, group studies, even a local channel program.
Is it about the silence? Maybe. There are so many Christian cliches about silence, though, that instead I want to listen. Not just to the inner voice, but to the outer voices, the children of God who are lost in this world and crying for help. I have to shut up long enough to hear them.
To hear where they are, to hear why they are lost, to hear what they have to say about their own way back home.