Lessons from Laryngitis

We’ve had a rather quiet house this week. Mostly because I have no voice. I didn’t realize I was the loud one of the family, but … well, I guess I was wrong. My voice abandoned me sometime between Wednesday afternoon and our closing prayer at Big Word that night. It toyed with me throughout the day, choosing mostly bass tones. Then, at the end of Bible study, we said “Amen” and it was gone. Just like that.

Today marks Day 3 of my muteness. I’ve observed a few things during the adventure.

  1. Regardless of whether or not your muteness hurts, people always want you to “feel better.”
  2. If you can’t speak above a whisper, most people around you will whisper, too.
  3. Some people think that if you can’t talk, you probably can’t hear either. So they just stop talking to you.
  4. No matter how long my voice is gone or how aware of this I am, I will always answer a ringing phone … forgetting that the person on the other end can’t hear me mouthing “hello.”
  5. In spite of years of unuse, my ASL (American Sign Language) vocabulary floods back to me whenever my voice leaves me.
  6. In such instances, I only remember too late that most people around me don’t know ASL. I still try to talk to them with it.
  7. Miming is far more fun when playing a game than when trying to teach your third grader multiplication.
  8. Everyone thinks hollow, squeaky attempts to talk are funny, but only kids will be honest about the fact that they’re laughing at you.
  9. It’s easier to be patient with children when I cannot yell at them.
  10. One quickly learns, when talking requires so much effort, that there are few things that truly must be said.

“Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.” — Ecclesiastes 5:2

“A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.” — Proverbs 17:27

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