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“You’re mic is on!”

Photo by Lee Soo hyun on Unsplash

It’s four minutes before I walk towards the altar, the prelude comes to a close and worship begins. More than a few times, someone has come up to me and said, “Your mic’s on!”

Well, of course it is. I fully trust the person at the sound board to pot me up at the appropriate times in the service. If the whole congregation can hear my small talk with those arriving for worship, those I’ve spotted who are with us for the first time, and those who have last minute questions for me, it’s not my fault!

I usually think, “I hope it wasn’t on when I was just in the bathroom.” Or expressing frustration under my breath about someone or something. Or speaking having a confidential conversation.

Actually, most of the time, it’s not true. My voice tends to carry. That’s a polite way of saying I’m just plain loud. I’ve heard it many times from my wife when guests are sleeping on the other side of the house or my comments are of a personal nature. I don’t even realize how much volume I can generate. It must come from all those years of playing the trumpet and sending air through the horn.

Can you imagine what it would be like if people could hear what you were thinking? So many thoughts resonate in my head that fortunately never make it to my vocal chords. About someone’s appearance, behavior, language, priorities, commitment, faith, choices or lifestyle. If that mic were ever left on I would be in a lot of trouble!

It’s troubling to sit here and write about thoughts I am glad no one knows I have. Obviously I am not proud of them, nor do I share them very often. Such thoughts reveal a level of sinfulness I shudder to admit. My thoughts aren’t always nice, constructive, merciful, forgiving and gracious. They are too often judgmental, condescending, cruel, hateful and evil.

No one knows. Except for God. And when I stop to ponder that, I am ashamed and humbled. But he still sent Jesus to atone for those thoughts. Amazing.

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