I’ve lost my voice.

Tis the season… of colds and illness. Combined with a busy season for Restorations attending numerous events and speaking engagements, a seasonal cold has caught up with me and I’ve lost my voice.

Every time I lose my voice, I am reminded of the privilege it is to have a voice – both the physical ability to speak words, and the privilege I hold in having my voice and my ideas heard. I also reflect on the feeling of powerlessness I experience when I can’t speak with the full volume or stamina that I’m used to.

Despite my hoarse voice, I can still speak, albeit whispers or with a little bit of pain. But without the use of microphones at this past weekend’s events, no one would have been able to hear me and I wouldn’t have been able to adequately express what I wanted to say.

A missionary colleague of mine explained advocacy to me a couple of years ago in a way I will never forget: advocacy is walking alongside others whose voices are not typically heard and using your voice to amplify theirs.

Proverbs 31:8-9 says “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

In the past, I may have described advocacy as speaking for others, or that advocacy is using my voice “for the voiceless.” The thing is, those who we are serving can speak; it is not our job to necessarily speak for them. It’s our job to be their microphone, to amplify their needs and their voice. And this begins with listening.

So while I rest my voice and let it heal, I am reminded to be quiet and continue listening to those I serve.