Back in December 2022, I made a throwaway comment during a church service about dead and dying languages. In particular, I mentioned how some languages died off because of genocide or a declining generation.
I said it to a bunch of guys; two of them were new friends and the last one was my friend Ryan whom I’ve known for the last seven years. One of my new friends has his own podcast: Being Human. (Note, there are several podcasts with the same name so look for Chris Lewis). I somehow invited myself to be on the podcast which was great because Chris was looking for guests with fresh perspectives.
I have never thought I would ever be on a podcast. I do listen to several podcasts, but these were all about history like Age of Napoleon with Everett Rummage or true crime like Cold Case Files. Cold Case Files was adapted from the A&E channel’s TV shows. The facts were already there; it would be up to the podcaster to weave a narrative. But on Being Human, this was more about commentary and talking about theology – which was much more open ended.
Surprisingly, I was not scared of public speaking. I have plenty of experience of doing that as a teacher. I was more nervous because my voice. I don’t have a good voice and when I speak it can be like a staccato instead of something smooth. Blogs are great for me: you don’t know what I sound in real life. 😀
I am certainly not alone about worrying my voice. General George Patton, the famous American general in World War 2, had a high squeaky voice which he hated. There was no doubt that he was a man’s man, a soldier’s soldier. He rode horses; he had his own yacht; in fact, when he was posted to Hawaii in the 1930s, he sailed there in his own yacht. However, Patton’s personality can be very temperamental at times and sometimes he still doubted he was a capable leader. Patton had a war face, perhaps more so for himself than for them who loved him. Where we imagine Patton’s voice is from another George – George C. Scott the actor who played in Patton (1970). Scott had a lower, raspier voice that we sometimes associate as “manly.” There is a rare footage with the original George Patton speaking and it is as squeaky as you can imagine.
I need not fear too much since I was the guest. Unlike the other podcasts that I mentioned earlier, this was a dialogue. My friend treated our time together like an interview. I might present some materials and we would then talk about what I just said. This was great since we tried to discuss a very controversial subject like why does God allow and even order “genocide” of the Canaanites. The irony is that because Chris publishes on a Tuesday, this was the same day as Valentine’s Day in 2023. I joked with my married and dating friends that a link to a podcast on judgment and death is not an appropriate gift.
My next appearance was about conspiracies and why we mistrust people and institutions. My most recent appearance on Being Human is on the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the meaning and centrality to the Christianity faith. This episode will be live tomorrow.
Chris’s friend who has his own podcast – Cynics & Saints – also asked me give my expert opinion on several war movies. In particular, I was to comment on their historical accuracy and give a grade. These movies are:
- Kingdom of Heaven
- The Patriot
- Saving Private Ryan
I also had fun doing that.
My hosts also ask for my Christian perspective on the matter. Chris wanted to hear how I would rise above mistrustfulness and the paranoia that seems to be so pervasive. He and his friend wanted to hear how can there be a goodness in times of war.
This was a good outlet for me because as someone who has a lot of knowledge about military history, it is painful to keep it inside. Yes, painful. The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah had that problem too. God spoke to Jeremiah repeatedly and Jeremiah was afraid to speak at times. He had been arrested and tortured once and thus reluctant, but Jeremiah found that God won’t let him rest until the prophet said what needed to be said. Never mind the consequences. In a way, that was Jeremiah’s voice.
Without Jeremiah’s voice, we would not have the book of Lamentations – a place where God teaches us how to grieve. Without Jeremiah, the hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness” would never have been written.
We all have a voice; the question is not “Do I speak up?” or “Do I have something to say?” I think we have the opposite problem – too many people are talking and no one is listening. The question is: What are you doing with your voice? Are you speaking life into others? Or merely informing them of something historical or entertainment value? Or killing people?
Your voice, your choice.