Can You Hear Me Now?
Several years ago, the phrase “Can you hear me now?” became a popular slogan for a major cell phone company. Paul, the spokesperson, was shown walking around with his cell phone to his ear, asking the question, “can you hear me now?” He said the phrase repeatedly in the 30-60 second commercials to get across the idea that Verizon had the most reliable service. As you may know, Paul currently appears in a commercial for Sprint, one of Verizon’s biggest competitors. He found a new venue for his message. He is the same person and he still sells cell phones, but the message is slightly different. He doesn’t claim that Sprint has the best coverage, but that it is within 2% of the best. The most recent commercials include robots who confirm Paul’s claims. Paul’s basic message is the same, but his delivery changed to accommodate a new audience and new technology. Similarly, when I started this blog ten months ago, I mentally asked the question, “Will they hear me?” I knew my writing would include multiple forms including poetry, essays, blogs, journals, and letters. Now, thirty-plus posts later, I realize that like, Paul, the cell phone spokesperson, parts of my story can be shared in ways I never imagined. Asking the question, “Can you hear me now?” means allowing my voice to be heard in unexpected places. It means taking risks by posting in groups on social media and being prepared for the challenges that follow each post.
An Unexpected Voice
My blog followers are as varied as the style and content of the posts. They include psychologists, apologists, survivors, those struggling with mental illness, family and friends. Each post reaches a different audience and results in a unique response. My recent post, The Problem of Evil was shared with a largely academic audience via social media. One response surprised me but also illustrates how a story brings unexpected outreach. My classmate, Richard Eng, asked if he could use the vignette at the beginning of The Problem of Evil in a sermon. His sermon tackles the Problem of Evil through the story of Joseph. Richard ends his sermon by explaining that Christ doesn’t always rescue us from the pain or the evil, but rather is there to get us through the trial or temptation. He told my story to illustrate that even amid a horrible situation, my faith in Christ sustained me. After watching the video, I understand even more clearly that my story can be heard in ways and in places I never expected. For years, I wondered if anyone would hear me. Richard demonstrates yet another way I can say, “They hear me, now.”
To most survivors being heard is a vital piece of healing from childhood trauma. If you are a survivor, please do not be afraid to write, sing, draw, or shout your story of healing. Now is the time for you to know that “yes, they can hear you now.”
To watch Richard’s sermon, click here.