What if you had to pay to talk? I have been thinking a lot about this lately. How about those harsh words spoken to a spouse out of frustration. Or those words your teenager just screamed at you when you told them, “No, you can’t go to that party.” Would we have an account that would automatically give us a certain number of words per day, week, month, or year? What if we pronounced our gratitude for what happened in our lives each day, and especially to the people who were part of that? Would our account grow and be supplemented when we did that, or when we selected only kind, caring and considerate words to say to others? It has caused me to measure my words. The word really is: Guard. In Proverbs we read, “guard your lips to guard your life.” Another translation uses the word–preserve. Why have I been pondering this? Because that just might be the case for Chris.
We have been hanging out in the hallway waiting for some doors, the right door, any door to open that might lead us down a path for more legible speech for Chris. Looking down that hallway we saw a door start to open and we decided to investigate what was in the room. Charles Elwood is a local “tech guy” who has been dabbling with some software that will create a Neural Synthetic Voice. He has done the work and now has developed his own synthetic voice. We connected a number of months ago when I first learned about this passion he has. Well, the door is opening even wider, and we have stepped into the room. Charles has gotten some partners on board and an app has been developed that Chris could put on his phone and iPad. He would text to speak, and we would hear the unique sound of Chris once again. It is just in the early stages of development. There are hoops to jump and authorizations to acquire, but it does sound very promising. In fact, a few weeks ago Chris was given access to practice on this app. There was a “balance” in his talking fund. What did he say? “Are you ready for nonstop talking?” Yes, Chris, whatever we have to pay, we are ready to hear your sound, the unique sound of you! Your voice has never left, but what a sweet sound this will be to hear.
Another door also is opening a smidge. There is a doctor in Chicago that specializes in voice, and we are just beginning that journey to determine how he might help Chris with the current “plumbing” that he has. Their mission is to help people with voice, swallowing and airway disorders. Our neighbor, Sandy Buller initiated the conversation, and we are working to get an appointment with this expert to see if there is something that he or his team knows that could help and support Chris.
All of these opportunities are happening through others–through the beautiful chemistry that occurs when others reach down to help another up and through this thing, we call life.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)