Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” 7 But the Lord said to me,
“Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’;
for you shall go to all to whom I send you,
and you shall speak whatever I command you.
8 Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
says the Lord.”
9 Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lordsaid to me,
“Now I have put my words in your mouth.
10 See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to pull down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.” –Jeremiah 1:4-10
My daughter, Claire, is in her first year of her graduate studies in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Penn State University. A speech therapist diagnoses and treats people who have various types of language and speech disorders.
In some instances, a child may have a developmental delay or other condition, which affects speech, hearing and language development. In adult cases, a condition or injury, such as a traumatic brain injury, stroke or an emotional problem, can lead to communication deficits. She is learning how to teach, retrain, and encourage people of all ages through speech therapy to speak.
I love to hear her clinic session stories. Just last week she shared how she is working with a 3-year old boy and using a silly dance to engage him in speaking a few words.
When God called Jeremiah, he blessed Jeremiah with the gift of words. Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me, “Now I have put my words in your mouth..” In the same way, God gives each of us the things we need to answer our own calls through conversations when we share our faith story. Let us remember to thank God for the gift of words, especially the words that come when we do not feel prepared to speak on our own. Just as he equipped Jeremiah, he will also provide words and actions for us to share our faith story with others.