A lot of people call this “prayer voice.” This is the gentle, hushed voice that ministers and worship leaders and humans often take when they step on stage and want to break it on down. It kind of reminds me of when rapper LL Cool J made the song, “I need love.” He went from rough and tough songs to singing “I’ll give you a rose, pull out your chair before we eat, kiss you on the cheek and say ooh girl you’re so sweet.”
Uncle L, what are you doing to me? But I understand why we do it at church. It’s a trigger to let you know things are about to get serious. Can you feel me? Do you know what I’m talking about? It’s time to let go and let God. To open your arms. He knows you only drink coffee at midnight, when the moment is not right and your timing is quite, unusual.
I can’t do it, every time I try to use the whisper of importance I break into song lyrics. I’m just not good at the whisper of importance. But fortunately, I have mastered these four other popular church voices:
1. The C.S. Lewis Voice
I believe that every C.S. Lewis quote should be spoken with an Irish accent. (I confess, I thought he was British at first.) Seriously, if you and I are talking, I don’t want you to just roll out some C.S. Lewis like you’re from down the street. I want a thick, cool sounding Irish accent.
2. The Phone Voice
My dad was like a ninja master at this. He could switch from yelling “You kids stop hitting each other with bricks” in a frustrated tone to happy pastor phone voice in about 1 second. “Hello? Hey Thomas, blessings to you brother, blessings indeed.” OK my dad doesn’t say those exact words when he answers the phone, but he does know how to answer it happy, just like me. I too am a pro at this.
3. The Bless Their Heart Voice
I wrote a post on this once. This is where you gossip about someone and then pretend that saying “bless their heart” at the end of your tirade makes it OK. It’s kind of a soft, happy accent and goes like this: “Well, they found him nude in the fountain down at city hall. He’s a drunk and a crazy man and I think that Alf tattoo he got that covers his back is going to be something he regrets. Bless his heart though.”
4. The Judgement Voice
This one is complicated and best executed in a one on one situation. See, when I am verbally judging someone, I like them to feel the heat, to kind of envision the eventual hell that awaits them if they don’t do what I am telling them to do to make things right. So I usually slip those hand warming packets skiers use into the pockets of the person I am talking to. That way when I start yelling, which is the judgement voice, they physically feel warmer and sweatier, which helps make my case.
I’d love to keep going, but I have a lot of things I need to do today. Important things, stuff that needs to be handled. And I keep telling God, I can’t do this alone. I cannot breathe unless you do this with me. Ugh, I think that was a song lyric. I am horrible.