Voice Lessons

May 30th, 2008 • Category: Gospel of Luke
by Julie Benson

Today’s scripture: Luke 8:43-48 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Julie Benson):

In college, vocal lessons were a prerequisite for my degree in music education. It made sense that in order to effectively teach others how to use their voice I would first have to learn how to use my own.

I was systematically tortured by my vocal coach who demanded that I engage in his silly voice lessons; and so started the array of vocal aerobics, exercises, etudes, studies, and drills. Up the scales and down the scales. Solfege, sight reading, and syncopation. There were unending loopty-loos and la-ti-das.

I imitated everyone from opera singers to Micky Mouse to Charlie Brown’s nasally old teacher. I sang songs in Italian and German. I massacred songs in French and Russian. I sang corny songs about Old Mother Hubbard, a drag queen named George, and fairies at the bottom of our garden. (Who said my vocal coach wasn’t gay?) I felt naked and self-conscious when encouraged to puff my gut out like a bloated chicken. I felt awkward and embarrassed when directed to contort my lips, my tongue, my chin, or my face. There were few areas of my body that he didn’t push, pull, move, or manipulate — all for the sake of good vocal posture or breathing.

Yet despite all of my vulnerability, I had faith in my vocal coach. I knew he had the power and the ability to transform my voice into something much more rich and beautiful. But once that transformation happened, he wanted me to share my new-found voice with others. It was my opportunity to demonstrate the way my vocal coach worked through me.

In today’s reading, I’m not necessarily convinced that Jesus had some magical aura where a mere touch of His cloak would bring instant healing. If He did, wouldn’t all the other people who were pressing in experience miraculous healing as well? Jesus would have had control of His healing powers. He would have had to give His own consent after noticing the touch of the woman before extending healing to her.

So if Jesus knew who touched Him, why did He ask?

Perhaps He wanted the woman to voice her transformation. This woman had been unclean and unwelcome for twelve years. She had probably grown timid and reticent. It was only after no one else confessed to touching Jesus’ cloak that the woman finally spoke up. This was a prime opportunity for her to become a vocal witness of the way Jesus had worked through her.

Thought for the day: Don’t be afraid to use your voice. Tell others about the way Jesus is working through you!

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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