Quotation of the Week

Not too long ago, those of us at the Simple Way were about to speak to a congregation. The person doing the introduction said, “These folks are a voice for the voiceless.” And something inside me hurt. I gently corrected them. Everyone has a voice. I know many amazing people who have used the old “voice for the voiceless” line (Oscar Romero, Mother Teresa, even the book of Proverbs). But it just felt strange. Perhaps we are too quick to assume folks cannot speak for themselves.

We are not a voice for the voiceless. The truth is that there is a lot of noise out there drowning out quiet voices, and many people have stopped listening to the cries of their neighbors. Lots of folks have put there hands over their ears to drown out the suffering.

Shane Claiborne in The Irresistible Revolution via Jordon Cooper


  1. Helping “the voiceless” speak and be heard is mostly a practical challenge. I pray every day for more folks with the concrete skills and committment to do the job.

  2. As someone who is nearly flattened by more than a decade of effort to pass the microphone so that such “voices” are heard in the context of federal policy debates, I want to express my deep appreciation for the two comments above that recognize this is a highly complex proposition with complications on both sides of the divide.

    The original quote sort of begs the old “if a tree fell in a forest …” question. Sadly, I have to say that the people I love are completely with virtually no exception unheard in Washington. Whether being unheard is effectively the same as “voiceless” is really just a question of semantics.

    Tom, I can’t imagine a better theme for prayer — bless you for that insight. In my world, I hardly ever meet anyone who sincerely recognizes the problem, much less considers it a sacred call to try to develop the competency and experience to fashion an answer. On the days when I feel deeply discouraged and alone, I will remember that you are praying.

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