Raise Your Voice

Have you ever felt so deeply about something you don’t know what to say?  You know something in your guts, and yet you can’t shape the knowing into a word. It’s often how I feel about the big questions – about life and what it means, the things of faith, and big words so easily thrown around like “justice.”

In 2008 I helped to start a society called Raise Their Voice.  It’s a launch pad, really, for myself and some like minded-others to grapple with some of the most important issues of our times and to help others in small ways and big, find ways to say those things we have to say.

That might sound abstract.  In a way I can’t fully say what it means – perhaps I’m grappling even now with the essence of my opening question.   The reason, however,  for this post, was to encourage you to raise your voice by raising theirs.  Who are they?  Anyone.  Everyone whose voice needs to be heard.  Your voice.  The voice of the marginalized.  The voice that goes unheard.

I’m part of helping to plan an event in April, and its purpose is to help people whose hearts are stirred up by the human story of trafficking.  I was hesitant to write that sentence, only because I am mindful of the meaning I want to convey.  “Human trafficking” is being thrown around a lot these days, as a slogan, as a cause, as an issue that, like a bandwagon, many seem to be jumping on to without knowing who is on the wagon, or where it’s going.  People are even writing plays about it (bless their hearts).   I’m not saying that we shouldn’t jump, but I am aware that those two words are loaded with meaning and I want us to know what we mean and to mean what we say.

Those two words  could tell a hundred thousand stories.

I know what the words mean and I don’t know what the words mean.  I want to know what the words mean and I don’t want to know what the words mean.  I want others to want the same and to consider meanings.

Yes.  I’m getting away from myself.  But I’m getting closer to meaning this: Sometimes we have things that we need to say and the more we learn, the more questions we ask, the more we engage the better prepared we are to raise our voices.  And when we raise our voices we can actually raise their voices, and create new stories that change things for real.

And that’s what this event is about.

If you’ve followed this rabbit trail this far, then we’re onto something here.  And I hope you’ll consider learning from, listening to, questioning, engaging with, and conversing with others like you who recognize they have a voice and  use it too.  People who will say those two words all the while finding ways to make a world where those words need not be said.

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