I lost my voice. I woke up on Columbus Day, tried to say “Good Morning,” and all I could manage was a squeak. Later that morning, a friend called on the phone. I managed to croak out a greeting. My friend apologized for waking me up.
“You haven’t,” I managed to barely say, “I have laryngitis.”
I hate when that happens.
Years ago, a doctor said the only cure was rest. That and hard candy: the sugar would coat my throat, keep my vocal cords hydrated, less irritated, and help reduce the swelling. He said lots of fluids would help, too. Later on, I learned that coffee was not an acceptable fluid for healing laryngitis, so I’ve been drinking tea spiked with honey and lemon.
Laryngitis changes my life.
Hospital visits are out. Conversation is limited. I screen calls. I nod. I point. I postpone meetings, re-schedule appointments, and skip choir. I read, I write, I catch up. I try to rest as much as I can. It’s hard. Like it or not, talking is a big part of what I do.
Laryngitis makes me listen.
Good things come from listening.
The apostle Paul got himself plunked into jail, which left with lots of quiet, not much peace, and few opportunities to talk. Prison gave Paul time to listen. He caught up on the news from his churches, talked with friends, prayed, and wrote a few notes. One note, written to the church in Philippi, hints his life was in peril, thanks the church for sending some much-needed support, offers his advice on some matters, and encourages gratitude in the best and through the worst.
“Do not be anxious about anything,” he writes, “but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
As my week wore on, I grew a bit anxious, yet I found myself thankful for the prayers that were being said for me. I also found myself thankful for Ginny serving the church office, for the hospital visits Pastor Paul made during my silence, a Sunday School lesson taught by Harold Kincaid, and your encouraging words. Above all, I am thankful to God for making the human body so wonderfully. I don’t know how my voice got a little better with each morning, but it did. Each moment of gratitude left me feeling better already.
Thanksgiving does a soul good.