My voice comes back to me, harsh, condemning, merciless. Shocked, I listen more intently—can that truly be me? My yelling echoes back first, pounding me with words so severe that I am left shuddering on the ground as they blow pasts, over, and through me. Then come the words echoing excitement, equally as loud, yet lacking the apparent depravity within me. Some words repeat Your Joy, Hope, and Zeal; however, my utterances continue to hold aspects of what I hate. Waves of cold, brutal condemnation wash me in self-loathing. My words, or lack thereof, pommel me into the ground and into my mind. How could I be this voice to others? All of the things I scorn poured from my own mouth. Bitterness, judgment, hate, superiority, blind rage, thoughtlessness, carelessness, pride, and selfishness bleed into my ears mind, heart, and eyes. All sense are flooded by my own performance of what I so despise. Left bleeding, overwhelmed, self-pitying, and alone, I cannot move due to my agony. “Who made man’s mouth? Did not I?” You demand of me, resounding in my engulfed mind. Lastly, I hear my voice whisper back to me, full of you. I hear You in my own words, spoken to others out of the core of who You are—Love. Comfort, forgiveness, hope, peace, gentleness, patience, compassion, sympathy, and Love itself flow through my speech. I begin to stand, but I am suddenly aware I do not stand by myself; You hold my hand and guide me to the still waters. And You open my eyes so I see through my selfishness that I am blessed to have You speak through my words. I only long for my lasting echoes to reflect You—Love.
“If I speak in the tongues of men or angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:1