My imagination is running riot, I can clearly see John Wesley preaching about the Kingdom of God, I can see people squirming in their pretty suits and handsome dresses. I would so love to be there. I think that his sermons whilst preached firstly within the confines of a church building lent themselves to be preached in the open air. As I speak them I am filled with the rhetoric that must have been shouted from the pulpit, you can’t say “Wake up sleeper!” in a quiet, whisper of a voice.
My hard of hearing sister in Christ who sits at the back of our church possibly never heard the first sermons I preached because I hated the sound of my own voice through the microphone, I still hate the flat vowels, the monotone pace and the thick North of England accent. Equally though I don’t like that BBC home counties accent I was born into and had until I was fed up of being the posh one. I can no longer speak like that, my vowels have been twisted by the ethos of that era.
“I don’t understand anything you say” was said to me recently so it is good that God has nothing to say to this person through me, gosh I hope God doesn’t have something for this person through my voice because they won’t get the message, their mind is closed either to my accent or to me, who knows.
Extempore praying is another area where my voice conjures up the most ridiculous words it wants to contrive out of my mouth, words I am not capable of saying in any meaningful way. And yet here recording the sermons of John Wesley in plainer English I am not getting tongue-tied. Well occasionally I am, but mostly the words are being spoken, maybe not as violently as when John Wesley said them, but with energy and movement. Yes my vowels are flat, get over it girl but I can try to change the monotony of my voice by speeding up and slowing down. I try to change the pitch to make it more listener friendly but still working on getting over that.
It is the embarrassment that someone might actually listen, I am so used to speaking and no one hearing like being inside a glass bubble, the mouth opens and shuts but no one really hears. I am reminded of a conversation that took place twenty seven years ago that I heard and acted on and changed my whole life because of it. The other party last year could not remember the issue so I didn’t mention the conversation. I know that I wouldn’t be sat here, with all the life experiences I have had since then if I hadn’t changed my life and I am not a person given over to the “What ifs” of life but it did make me wonder for a little while.
This year is all about learning and I think of the emptiness I felt when I had finished my last assignment. What else was there to do? How could I fill my time? I began painting and writing again, instinctively moving from academic to fiction and then it has stopped again. It is amazing how when time is needed again for study, a window opens up to enable it. I have learned so much this year, not about myself per se, but how I am in the eyes of others and what needs to be chipped off me in order for me to do God’s will. He is not slow in coming forward, guiding me, helping me, challenging me and encouraging me that I am acceptable to him and he will give me what I need when I need it. So I sit with my flat vowels basking in the love of the living God, to him my vowels are just the right pitch, the intonation is right and so I get over myself and continue learning loads from John Wesley, but learning more from the Lord