Communication is something close to my heart. Even prior to kindergarten, conversing with others was enjoyable. Anyone remember report card “citizenship” grades? At Sierra Madre Elementary School, citizenship grades were a big deal and never slipped through the cracks. My teachers persistently marked my report cards with a “C” or “C-” in citizenship for talking during class when I was supposed to be quiet. All that did was encourage me to go underground by passing notes to classmates!
Trying to suppress a talkative person is, in some ways, like trying to tame the mighty Mississippi River. On one memorable November afternoon in 2011, while Jon and I stood on a bluff in Natchez, Mississippi, overlooking the Mississippi River, we met a keen man in his mid to late 80s. From birth, he had lived in a very big, yellow, wood frame house situated directly behind us on the bluff. He eagerly shared his insights about the River, including recurrent extensive efforts by the United States Army Corps of Engineers to redirect the river at specific bends. Based on his broad knowledge, he was convinced the River outsmarts even the most ingenious engineers . . . deliberately choosing its own path. But the engineers haven’t given up—they keep trying to force the River to comply with their will.
Voices are intriguing. Each voice is unique and links identity to the speaker. Even as we mature, our voices retain that engaging essence of familiarity. Just over a year ago when my voice was more clear, I phoned a woman who lives in Oregon with her husband. We hadn’t spoken in many years; but having grown up in Sierra Madre with their three children, we were very well acquainted. Even though she was in her early 90s, her voice still retained the same distinctive elements—the moment she answered the phone with “hello,” it was obvious I’d called the right number!
Taken from my November 14 post “Counting your many blessings . . .”—
“. . . thieves come in many forms. Such uninvited pirates may show up at any time of the day or night to rob, bit by bit, our . . . health.”
Add to that . . . VOICE. Unfathomable! The fact that ALS is looting my speech is, to me, an unforgivable offense. In responding to a blog comment—receiving a diagnosis of ALS is almost like being hit from behind by a silent train. If you’re about to be mown down by a powerful locomotive, the least it could do is announce its approach by sounding its horn. But no—ALS is not thoughtful, considerate, nor polite. Its ultimate goal is total destruction of its victim!
Just as my elementary school teachers diligently tried to suppress my talking, this disease is determined to quench my verbal communication . . . but, so far, I can still type my thoughts. Fortunate you! 😉
When verbal communication was still possible, here are things you would have never heard me say—
Knock on wood
Let me check my horoscope
That was such a coincidence
The stars are all aligned in your favor
What a stroke of luck
Why not? Because the very personal God I have learned to trust does not do random things. Random can be defined as . . .
Lacking a definite plan or purpose, or
An action that happens without order or without reason
None of God’s actions are spur-of-the-moment nor happenstance. Everything God does is the result of meticulous planning . . . purpose driven. He even shared His intentions with hand-picked prophets to warn us in advance about coming significant events that He alone crafts and puts in motion at the times of His choosing. Nothing even slightly arbitrary.
One of my favorite photographs was captured by my good friend, Jody Langford, on October 14, 2019, at 7:00 a.m. It is a moonset on Mount Tom, Eastern Sierra in the John Muir Wilderness. Per Wikipedia: “The mountain is named for Thomas Clark, a resident of the pioneer town of Owensville, who is credited with being the first to ascend the peak in the 1860s.”
It reminds me of my Father’s grandeur—
only He could have designed such majestic wonder and beauty!