God Took My Voice

God took my voice that day. All I ever wanted to be was a good, faithful Jew. I followed the Law and its commands faithfully, whole-heartedly. I loved my wife dearly, intimately. And yet God took my voice.

God took my voice that day. All I ever wanted to do was pass on my family inheritance to a son, like my father did to me. Yet my wife was barren. Her womb was more of a grave than a garden. We grew old without any children. God didn’t give me a child, let alone a son. And yet God took my voice.

God took my voice that day. All I wanted to do was be a faithful priest. I wanted to be the intermediary between Israel and our God. To faithfully represent God to the people and the people to God. And yet God took my voice.

God took my voice that day. All I did was cast lots with the rest of my fellow priests who were serving in the temple at that time. It fell to me to offer up the incense for the people to God and pronounce a blessing from God upon the people. And that’s all I wanted to do. I just wanted to do what I was supposed to do. And yet God took my voice.

God took my voice that day. An angel appeared to me and it was a terrifying sight. He was a mighty warrior with a fierce gaze and paralyzing voice. He was a divine soldier who was not to be trifled with by anyone. He was so wonderful and awe-inspiring. And yet God took my voice.

God took my voice that day. The angel came to me to tell me that my wife was going to be pregnant with a son. I was to name him John. The angel said that God had indeed heard my prayers for a son. And this son was going to to lead many of the children of Israel back to God by being given the power of Elijah by God’s holy spirit. And yet God took my voice.

God took my voice that day. I listened to what the angel had to say, his message from God. But I couldn’t believe him. My wife and I were old, too old to have a child. I didn’t believe that God could work this miracle. And God took my voice.

God took my voice that day. Because I refused to believe that the creator of the heavens and the earth, and everything in them, could do this the angel stripped me of my voice until I named the child John. After all of that obedience and faithfulness as both a priest and a husband and a Jew, I failed at the crucible of my faith. I doubted. And God took my voice.

God took my voice that day. When I went outside of the temple the people listened eagerly for the blessing that I was to give. Only I had no voice to give them a blessing. I was incomplete. I could gesture with my hands but I couldn’t pronounce a blessing. My failure to believe now because my failure to be a priest of God. For God had taken my voice.

God took my voice that day. I had no words to angrily curse God for taking my voice away and making me a failed priest and Jew and husband. I had no words to speak sorrow and regret for my unbelief. I had no words to express the anguish and heartache over failing God. I had no words to express praise for the child that he was still going to graciously give me despite my unbelief. For God had taken my voice.

God took my voice that day. All I could do was finish my time in Jerusalem in serving as the mute priest and go home. I could only go home and try to be a voiceless Jew. I could only be a husband who couldn’t tell his wife that he loved her. I could’t tell her the good news about the coming baby. I couldn’t celebrate with her when she did become pregnant. I could only make gestures and look like the crazy old man. For God had taken my voice.

—Adapted from Luke 1:5-25 for Advent.

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~ by hankimler on December 13, 2013.

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