“YOU SAY IT BEST, WHEN YOU SAY NOTHING AT ALL” (song ‘yan Ninang!)
I lost my voice for two whole days last week. I could still breathe out some words (much like a singer trying but couldn’t reach a high note), but was incapacitated in some way. Certainly I was not able to hold clinic– though I thought of sign language. 😬 This was the first time it happened to me and I’m not sure how my household helps and my children actually felt about it; I have my suspicions (“wipe those impish smiles off your faces kids”)
As a mother, as a teacher, a doctor, and a person vocal about my thoughts and opinion, losing my voice initially seemed harrowing. But this did not come as an ordeal to me as much as a probable answer to a prayer (Ninang you prayed to lose your voice?).
A few days before I got the sore throat and lost my voice, I felt really tired of talking. Talking, though good for giving instructions, has consequences when its content meets opposition. I struggled and asked, “Is being able to voice my thoughts worth the harsh unexpected response from others? Is it worth the unintended ill-feeling it causes others?” So I prayed and asked God to allow me to speak only if my words are His and will be pleasing to Him (yes we should really be careful what we wish or pray for!). Did I get my prayer answered? Lord, by your grace, may I just carefully choose my words (new prayer na Ninang?)
Losing my voice was unexpectedly refreshing. I had two days of rest. No one contradicted me (there was nothing to contradict!) It was quiet in the house and my kids seem to be in an auto-behave mode. I was not able to make rounds as consultant on call for charity patients but there were many discharges and few new patients. Does God fill in the words that we can’t utter? (Is that the reason I fell in love with my relatively quiet husband? Hmmmmm..) Certainly we see His strength when we are helpless and desperate for His intervention.
Not being able to speak gives us an idea of how much our “talkies” (words, instructions, opinion, tone) matter and are appreciated (or not). Do our words give direction, uplift people, and bring joy? Or do they create panic, bring down people, and create discord? Will the world be a better place if we say nothing at all? (No typing or texting messages Ninang? “Nope”) Will the people around us (will we) be happier and more peaceful if we don’t speak? Think about it. Better yet, try not speaking for a day (if possible).
When my husband and I were in our earlier years of marriage, one of our heart to heart talks was to tell each other what we can improve about ourselves (actually what we want to improve on each other). I would end up telling him “can you please put more effort into speaking?” Of course he will retort if I can do more cooking; and we will call it quits. I guess I should be learning how to speak less from him (but then he knows the cooking better too!). The adage “less is more” can be illustrated well, if not best, in the area of talking (Hello Mr. President!).
And so I stop. (Bitin Ninang.. “Read on”)
“You say it best when you say nothing at all.” – Ronan Keating and Ninang singing
“When words are many, sin is not absent,
but he who holds his tongue is wise.” (Proverbs 10:19)
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)
“He who guards his lips guards his life,
but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.” (Proverbs 13:3)
“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
“The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life,
but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4)
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.” (Proverbs 31:8)
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Luke 6:45)
“Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.” (Psalms 105:1)