I had a dear friend once who was questioning her call into the ministry when a seminary professor said to her, “People need to hear your scratchy voice.” And, no, this was not referring to a throat condition causing her to speak in a hoarse whisper. The message delivered was clear. We need people who will not simply kowtow and fall in line with the powers that be. We need voices who speak the truth to power, even if their voice shakes. We need voices who aren’t always silky smooth and easy to listen to because they rattle us out of our complacency. We need voices who challenge the way it has always been so that we can live into what can be.
There are many, many of us who are wondering what on earth is happening to our world. Sad doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings about the situation in Ferguson, and at the Mexican border. Concerned doesn’t even touch my feelings about the health care system, the lack of respect for women’s choices about their bodies, unemployment and underemployment, education, poverty, homelessness and bullying. Fed up doesn’t come close to my frustration with the religious right with their rigid, dogmatic, patriarchal, fear-based preaching.
Truly, the issues are overwhelming, and the polarity in our country and world becomes more and more pronounced. It feels like we’re getting closer and closer to the breaking point, and then what?
I have no answers. But I do believe that this is part of the process of evolving. It is messy, ugly, frightening and maddening, but history shows that we need these times to grow into the next stage of becoming (if we don’t annihilate the human species in the process). And with that I have hope.
In the meantime, the one thing I know I can do is be the scratchy voice. I can declare a different, more inclusive, loving, justice-filled, non-fear-based way of being Christian. I can stand up against the bullies. I can refuse to be silenced as a lesbian and a woman. I can sign the petitions, I can march in protest, I can call my government officials, I can vote. I can show love to those whom others dismiss or discard. I can pray for peace… peace of heart, mind, soul and body. And I can hold the crucible of hope for better days when we’ve finally evolved into a deeper spirituality and a world in which all persons are of sacred worth.
Be the scratchy voice.