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Finding your voice

My dad diagnoses diseases. He’s a world class pathologist who gives the gift of life every day he goes to work in the lab in Kenya. Several years ago someone invented some software that allowed him to speak his diagnosis into a computer that automatically transcribes it. He no longer had to …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
My dad diagnoses diseases. He’s a world class pathologist who gives
the gift of life every day he goes to work in the lab in Kenya. Several
years ago someone invented some software that allowed him to speak his
diagnosis into a computer that automatically transcribes it. He no longer had to do the arduous work of writing it all down.
 
He was given the gift of a voice. 
 
It’s a gift we all need. So many of us have got great stuff inside. We’ve all got passions, and when we find our voice, we express them, giving the gift back to the world. 
Eric Liddell, gold medal winner in the 1924 Olympics, famously said, “God made me to run fast. I feel His pleasure when I run.” He found his voice first in running and later in sharing the gospel as a missionary to China.
 
You find your voice when you focus on it – marrying your passion with skill and hard work. It’s an awesome thing when a person with a beautiful voice is able to share it. It’s why we love Susan Boyle or Paul Potts.
 
It’s why, within moments of hearing Potts begin singing Nessun Dorma, many in the audience (including one of the judges) began to weep. Yes, there’s his incredible tenor voice, but Pavarotti doesn’t impact you like that.
 
You weep for the magic of an obscure cellphone salesman sharing that voice with the world.
 
I think it’s a spiritual transaction. I think that all of us have got something inside that cries out for expression. It’s not our dream – it’s God’s dream we’re incubating. And when we give voice to it, we join the angels in heaven as they give praise to God for his gift.
I knew a young lady who was trained in singing opera. She has a beautiful voice. But none of us who knew her had heard it.
 
She had experienced so much pain in her life that she had stopped singing. She’d gone mute.
 
People are like that. They may struggle to find and develop their voice. Then eventually, as they find it, you sense their voice giving you a window to their soul. But then life happens and they shut down and hide the very mode of expression God gave them.
 
It was an incredible Sunday in Nsoko, orphans seated all around us and on our laps, when, shining like the African sun that shone down on us, the young lady with the opera voice chose to sing again. I’ve got it on video and it affects me like listening to Potts does.
Many of us need help discovering our voice and many of us have stopped singing. The world needs us to find our voice and feel God’s pleasure as much as we need it.
 
Have you discovered your purpose and your voice? You’ve got one; we all do. There’s little in life more important than finding it.

Comments (4)

  • I love this! This is what Adventures seems to do, uncork, uncover, and unfetter the best of what God crafts in his kids so that they can sing to a lonely harried world. Thanks so much, Seth!

  • Our voice is our strongest connection to the nature of our Father. It was with His voice that God created. It is with His voice that God speaks life into any situation. It is with His inner voice that God daily leads and guides us all.
    How important then is our gift of speech. It is one sure way that we can emulate Him.

    The Hebrew words for “word,” “shepherd,” and “lead” all come from the same root, Dbr. Knowing this it is not surprising that shepherds lead their flocks by the sound of their voices. They walk before them speaking all the time. God told Moses over and over again, “Say to the children of Israel…”

    When we speak, especially when we share about Him, more is released than just your thoughts, or your breath. When we speak we release the God given creative power to bless, or to destroy. Our words are powerful. In a testimony of God’s mighty acts they can release HOPE. In a moment of foolish selfishness they can tear a relationship to shreds. God took a great risk when He gave us a voice.

    We must take great care in using it wisely.

    Sing dear girl, speak out, share your testimony with joy; you will send forth the power of His voice within and through you.

  • Seth,
    I am struck, once again, but the timeliness of your post. I don’t even know how I stumbled on your blog a few months ago– I don’t even follow blogs (except this one and one other). It’s clear to me that the Father was orchestrating it because He’s putting His thoughts in your heart and your voice.

    I am a singer, by passion, training, and vocation. This season of my life has been about finding my voice–both the singing voice God gave me (and developing it), as well as an honest, vulnerable voice in songwriting. Choosing to sing was probably the hardest choice I’ve made, vocationally. I have taught music, worked as a music therapist, drum circle facilitator, writer, and voice actress. Singing is the calling I’ve been running from, afraid of, and not wanting to own. It’s a place of deep resistance. It’s the place that requires deep faith as I not only commit to growing in my God-given talent, but also commit to being emotionally present in the songs God gives me to communicate. I cannot remain the same person I am today and pursue this calling. I cannot do this on my own.

    I am co-writing an album right now, in part as advocacy for human trafficking. As a sexual abuse survivor, I am finding that as God brings up past pain in my life, giving voice to it is part of my healing–even naming horrendous events aloud. I pray that as I sing, God would release a multitude of others who have been voiceless to give voice to their deep cries, name their experiences, grieve, and begin to heal. I want to feel God’s pleasure when I sing, and to usher in the kingdom. I want to call out and create new possibilities in the lives of those who feel dead and worthless with the sound of my voice. I want to co-create new realities, kingdom realities, in the hearts of others by singing the words God gives me to sing. To call the things that are not as though they are, and to wake up the dead, both outside the church and within it. For healing to flow like rivers of living water over the wounded, dry, hopeless and weary.

    It feels audacious to declare that vision in writing, to people who don’t know me. Nevertheless, this is the vision being deposited in me as I reclaim my voice, which has been silent for so long.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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