She said it. I never thought about it.
It was the oddest thing. We were all laying on an uncomfortable bridge at the end of a long day of hauling logs and debris from a creek so that kids could play at a camp where they would soon hear from God. That’s when she said it. “This is one of my favorite Doug voices.”
It was an odd and interesting thing to hear from a young lady who had known me for years, who had experienced teacher Doug, leader Doug, mission leader Doug, and, apparently a Doug with so many voices. Her response to my question, “What do you mean?” went something like this, “I have heard so many Doug voices but this is my favorite one. It’s quiet. You aren’t loud. You aren’t funny.”
But it was funny to me. I never thought about the fact that I have different voices or the fact that she apparently hadn’t heard this voice much before.
It was also funny to me because I don’t really feel like Doug at every minute lately. It has been a tough couple weeks with Dad dying, too much travel., and too much illness. I don’t really feel funny. I am not even feeling to very inspired. I am just trying to get my feet on the ground. At times I feel like I am more trying to recover and not be too needy. But a different voice? I never thought about it but from her perspective she was right.
I was just being Doug. A real, tired, happy to be there, non-leader, laying on a bridge, enjoying the sunshine, no agenda, no need to teach, relaxing, feeling good from hard work, doing what I was told, looking at the trees Doug.
How could she never have encountered this Doug? This voice?
I didn’t say much about it because there wasn’t much to be said. I just laid on the bridge and talked. Without a doubt it was one of my favorite moments of the trip. Everyone joining up at a silly bridge by a silly rope swing and doing absolutely nothing of seemingly real value except looking up at the tree canopy and being people – real people right where we were.
It dawns on me that there may be a need for more of this Doug voice in my days. Time to just sit with Amber with no work agenda, not much to do, and to simply rest. A bit more unscheduled time with the kids. A few more times where the day stops without needing to go anywhere. Time to just be me even if I don’t really feel at my peak. To live and be known by those around me as s something other than a leader.
It was nice being appreciated for being something other than a leader. I think it may be one of my favorite Doug voices too.