“A Voice for the Voiceless”
I hear people state this as their vocation sometimes. It is a catchy, and almost romantic, statement. It is idealist by nature. A savior-complex seems inherent and necessary. And so, I have heard one leader in homeless ministry state that she is against the idea of being “a voice for the voiceless.”
I consider myself as an unheard voice. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, but lost in obscurity. I speak, but who listens? By far, I go mostly ignored. Of those who have listened, most do not understand me. (I guess I am just too complex – or maybe too many who are willing to listen are just too simple. Of course that kind of observation is ripe for conceit. I will not claim to be immune to that, but I will point out that being ignored and shunned is nothing to be proud of either.) However, most of the remaining ears find me too offensive and turn me off when they can.
I have been officially kicked out of one ministry and all but officially shunned by another. I write pamphlets, blogs, and books and yet get almost no readers. I speak and get almost no listeners.
I speak without a voice for the voiceless. (I know… your welcome.)
I saw a news item this morning depicting Syrian refugees being turned away from the Slovenian border. Yesterday, I saw a news item showing Hungarian border patrol pepper spraying mothers and fathers holding small children. These are real news items getting real circulation on the international stage, yet the cries of these people fall largely on deaf ears.
Pope Francis is coming to America this week and is expected to address congress with a message regarding “the poor,” and the pontificators speculate that his remarks will be confrontational. Pope Francis is a voice for the voiceless. I am so thrilled to have him as leader of the church – a shepherd after God’s heart! Not a perfect man, but a real voice for the truly voiceless. Like the unborn who are so easy to slaughter in the womb before their mother hears their cry.
Meanwhile, I speak without a voice. The words come out. The sound waves permeate the ear, but not the heart. The words come out in electronic light and get clicked over. The words come out in hard-copy ink and collect dust or get crumpled and tossed.
I am not a pope or a polished orator. I am no one of significance. I am no one of consequence. And the people I speak for are called “Voiceless” too.
But the air hears, the electrons electrify, the ink bears witness. And the lives of the homeless matter whether you hear their voice or not.
(Thank you for not reading this – I guess…)