Wait, wait… What did you say? Or some variation on the sentiment is a rather constant anthem of those unfamiliar with my speech. I have a speech impediment along with some other fun things that come with my Cerebral Palsy. It’s nobody’s fault, but my speech sounds like total gibberish! If I’m unlucky enough to hear myself on a recording, I’m just as clueless as anyone else about what is being said. I like to joke around and warn people that I speak an obscure dialect of old martian. If I talk at a snail’s pace and painfully enunciate everything, I can passably imitate English. There are those who seem to magically understand every word I say right off the bat, but most people have to fight for understanding.

When someone asks me to repeat myself, they are often scared of offending me. Ironically, it’s the most efficient way to compliment me. They are communicating that they value understanding what I am saying enough to disrupt the rhythm of the conversation to ask me to repeat myself.

It is a great joy to help people understand me, if that is what they want, I’ll spell out every word if it helps. I can’t help but feel that when we pursue our Father’s treasures, we are communicating the same thing to him. He will help us and enter into the process with us. Asking him for guidance or insight into what on earth he’s getting at might just be the highest praise we can offer him.

Jonathan Duncan

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