QUITE often in accident, illness or some minor calamity we ask God, “Why me?” don’t we? This happened a few years ago, just before a concert: My voice took a walk! “Come back!” I shouted silently, but only hoarse guttural sound came out of tired throat. “Laryngitis,” said doctor wife with professional tone.
“What do I do?” I asked. “Nothing,” she said with a glint in her eye. “Salt water gargle,” said daughter vindictively. I tried. Salt water trickled down to stomach below and t’was the dreadful sea sickness all of a sudden, with tummy adding to my voice box woes.
“Brandy,” said a fellow choral singer. “Brandy?” asked the wife. “Yeah,” I said opening a bottle. “No need,” said the wife firmly closing the bottle. “Good for my throat,” I shrieked shrilly. “Don’t squeal!” she said matter of factly. Friendly medical book gave me a week to recover. “A week!” I shrieked to hardcover and looked at diagram of larynx sketched neatly in descriptive page. The vocal chords in the book looked angry red, I wondered whether mine were deep purple.
‘Exposure to certain harsh chemicals or toxins can cause vocal chords to swell,’ said the book. I grabbed a homeopathic book, ‘Garlic is a good remedy for toxins,’ it said. I rubbed garlic on throat, inside mouth, on teeth and nearly onto my vocal chords.
“Strange smell,” sniffed the wife. “Dead rat madam,” said the maid knowingly. “Garlic,” I mumbled sheepishly. “Yuck,” said the wife. I looked up. “Give me back my voice,” I prayed. “Listen,” said the Lord. “I’m listening!” I said. “Just listen,” said the Lord. “Listen. Listen. Listen!” I did.
“No voice,” I croaked as my quiet neighbour got in step with me for my morning walk. “No problem,” said the neighbour. “My father passed away, last week and I can’t get over the grief.” I listened as he poured his heart out. I couldn’t say a word. “Thanks,” he said at the end, “I feel better.” I hadn’t said anything, just listened. That evening at the choir recital, I stood dumb. The man at my side, whose voice I normally drowned, sang out. It sounded old, papery thin. But somewhere in the audience I saw a woman smile. She waved. She had heard her husband’s voice, at last. At my side I felt him smile. His slouch disappeared, he stood straight, his tired voice now sang out loud and firm. I felt a God above smile.
That night I knelt in prayer. “You know Bob, there’s so much I have to say to you each day,” said the Lord. “Why don’t you?” I asked. “Because there’s always so much you have to say to somebody or other or even to me!” I listened, speechless, and felt at peace..!

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