I listened today

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

BibleIt’s a rather surreal experience to be a preacher who cannot preach.

About a month ago I started noticing pain in my throat, no… in my neck.  It wasn’t a sore throat like you’d get with a cold – it was on the side, but still somewhat in the center.  I reasoned it was allergies and ignored it – like I always do.  Like most men do.  Swallowing began to hurt, coughing was uncomfortable. Sneezing was downright unbearable. I noticed a clicking in my neck when I rubbed my throat, something I started to do over and over again.  Then this week I began losing my voice… as Sunday was approaching. But still there was no sign of a cold or anything I would normally associate with a sore throat.

January 2, I found myself in the doctors office. The not so tender rebuke of my loving brother-in-law ringing in my ears forced me to go. Mr family doctor was surprised to find no hint of a cold. Instead he suspects something wonky with my Thyroid. I didn’t understand everything he said, but I’ve learned more about the thyroid gland in two days than I could have ever imagined. We’re still waiting on the blood tests.

Today is Sunday. I still can’t speak, at least not very well.

So today I had wonderful godly men fill in. They did the scripture reading, the pastoral prayer, and so on. Our musicians drew up a longer worship service.

I couldn’t sing.

But I listened.

I listened to the sounds of God’s people crying out to him with faith, love, and hope in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I listened to godly men read the scriptures and pray.

I wept tears of joy for the congregation God has brought me to for these past sixteen years. I also wept because I couldn’t sing, and I couldn’t preach.

I had prepared a sermon and couldn’t preach it. I prepared brief remarks and couldn’t give them. I did lead communion … in a hoarse whisper… with the sound system cranked way up to capture my muted voice.

Silently the gospel was proclaimed in the bread and the wine.

I couldn’t shout it out.

But I listened.

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