“And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak” the Angel Gabriel to Zechariah (Luke 1:20).
There are 28 Zechariah’s in the Bible (according to The New Bible Dictionary). But I feel a deep bond with the one who was the Father of John the Baptist right now. Because he doubted the word of the angel that his wife Elizabeth would give birth to a son, he was striken mute. The mean God of the New Testament strikes again. No one is struck mute in the Old Testament. (I’m an OT guy.)
I have been struck mute. Well, not quite, but that’s what it feels like. My vocal cords have somehow become damaged. My ENT told me I should not talk unless absolutely necessary until my vocal cords heal. The Silence of the Lamb (our housemate, Dave suggested that we watch a certain film with a similar title, see 2nd image). I need to talk when I teach (Mondays, Thursdays), but otherwise I’m trying to avoid speaking completely.
Possible causes of my vocal cord damage:
1) From yelling while coaching. I’ve coached my sons’ soccer and basketball teams the past 6 years.
2) From teaching too much. It’s my job. I talk a lot. I’m loud. Ask the people who work with me.
3) From reflux. Reflux is caused in part by stress. This past summer my wife’s brother Randall passed away, my mom passed away, and my dad was hospitalized. It’s been an extraordinarily stressful summer.
I was given an array of meds to help with the Reflux. A few days after I starting taking these meds, my reflux became worse. I don’t know why this happened, but my stress levels have rocketed up lately. One of the meds gave me headaches and now I can’t talk about how I’m feeling. There’s a lot going on, but I don’t have a good way to express it.
To be honest, this has been brutal for me personally.
To help me express myself, my wife Shannon downloaded Verbally, an app for my iPad that speaks what you type. It works pretty well, and I shouldn’t complain because it was free, but it’s not very loud. I’ve grown accustomed to being loud. So people can’t hear me “speak” unless everything is quiet. There are two voices in the free version, “Rosie” and “Dave,” but “Dave” does not sound at all like Dave.
So, now I’m wondering, is God punishing me for some sin? God was clearly punishing Zechariah for his doubt. There are certainly many sins of mine that God could be targeting. (I don’t have time to list all of them here.)
What do you think, does sin cause illness? What relevant biblical examples can you think of?