Not A Normal Week, Part 2

I blogged earlier this week about how my Holy Week has felt different this year. I've spent my time in lots of different places and with some amazing people and I didn't fully realize that until God revealed it. It was a good moment for me to have my eyes opened to all the "not normal" ways that God is at work around me.

Today was yet again not a normal day. I woke up with laryngitis on Easter Sunday. That's right on Easter - the day set apart to shout, "Alleluia! He is risen!" and I have no voice. (I realize in the grand scheme of things this is really not a big deal, but pollen isn't my friend and it made me sad.)

It was a little surprising - I usually get sick at Christmas, not on Easter. It was a bit disappointing - I love to lead worship and recently I have been singing in the choir more regularly. That wasn't going to happen today. It was somewhat worrisome - one of my favorite parts of Easter is engaging with the people of faith and their families who are often visiting. That's harder for them and for you when you don't have a voice.

And in spite of it all, I found this Easter experience to still be full of joy and worship and awe. Even if I couldn't express it fully with my lips, I participated in worship as much as I could. I was present with the body of Christ which is in and of itself a gift. I sang to the best of my ability but found (at least noticed)  that I worshipped more with my body than usual perhaps maybe to make up for my lost voice. I knelt at the altar in prayer. I embraced  loved ones at the door. Poured communion juice into the chalices. Whispered blessings and remembrance of baptism over dozens.

All these things didn't require a strong voice, they asked for a strong devotion to worship. Having to push past the obstacle of straining to speak with each blessing over each soul at the altar reminded me of my deep need for God and made me more thankful for the gift of my baptism. My body was weak, but my heart was full.

I couldn't help but think of Zechariah and  how that season of ministry must have been for him while he awaited the birth of John. No ability to speak but still given the privilege to lead worship and bless others. I imagine he had to get creative and that he began to see God in new and different ways as well.

When you can't talk, you actually see better. At least maybe you sit back and observe better. I noticed at lunch today that a woman sat with her family of five and spoke sign language across the table to her husband and children. I might have missed her on a normal day. A woman who regularly doesn't have a way to speak and yet has learned how to engage fully with those around her. Seeing her interact with her children blessed me. It was a powerful testimony to me in the midst of losing my voice.

And that's what today has been - a testimony to the goodness of God in all things.  A chance to sit back and see the many gifts surrounding me and all of us.

Worship of our Savior this morning with so many that love the Lord and each other.

My own children enjoying a relaxing afternoon to just be at home and play.

A faithful husband who is so good to me and stepped in the gap created by my limited abilities today.

And I finished the night with a long-awaited sleep over with my baby girl.  No need to really speak there, but just be present.

Voice or no voice, it's been a great day.

He is risen!

And one day my voice will rise again too.