Over the past week, I have had very little voice. Allergies have irritated my throat to the point where I sound hoarse or like a Middle School boy going through puberty. I’ve been frustrated at my lack of voice, especially over a weekend, since I need to use my voice so much on Sundays.
I do wonder, though, how many people feel like they have no voice. I think about those who are poor, sick, outcast, or marginalized who suffer in silence. I wonder about those overseas who suffer because of military conflict and corrupt governments who suffer without a voice to change their situation.
And I wonder about our families. Does everyone in your family have a voice? Can they speak and know that their words are listened to?
Back in the 1st Century AD, children were often treated as property until they came of age. They had no voice, could be put to work early, and had no rights or protection outside of their parents. Even then, sometimes, those parents would see them as commodities or their own personal security as they aged.
This makes sense of the story when several parents wanted to bring their children, and the disciples were fending them off. “Children aren’t worth the Master’s time,” they said. “He’s far too busy to deal with young ones. He’s busy changing the world.”
Into this conflict, Jesus spoke peace, “Let the children come. Don’t stop them, Everyone should be more childlike.” Jesus, in that moment, changed the view of children from being worthless, to being an example to follow. He gave them a voice, and listened to them.
Does every voice in your family get a real say in how things work? Probably not, since that might be impractical and chaotic. However, each voice should be heard, listened to, and taken into account.
May your home be marked by listening and understanding.