One of my favorite movies is The King’s Speech. It tells the true story of King George VI (father of the present Queen Elizabeth). He had a stammer and was terrified of making speeches. He worked for many years with the speech therapist Lionel Logue and the movie covers their developing relationship.
The movie won several Oscars – Best Picture, Best Director, and Colin Firth won for Best Actor for his portrayal of George VI. The treatment of the King was not well known at the time, many years later diaries and letters were discovered which led to the movie and the telling of the story.
Logue is sometimes credited with saving the monarchy, because the King succeeded in making speeches during wartime which inspired Britain. He never fully overcame the stammer; but learned elocution and breathing exercises which allowed him to speak effectively. The two men became close friends and Logue coached George VI through many wartime speeches and events. He helped George VI find his voice. One year the King delivered his Christmas message without Logue at his side. “My job is over,” Logue said to the King. “Not at all,” the King replied, “It is the preliminary work that is most important.”
Who are the voiceless today, and how can we help them find their voice? What is the preliminary work that must be done? We are living through a time when we are walking alongside the voiceless and discovering the preliminary work that must be done. The work ahead will need faith, perseverance, and courage. This preliminary work will provide the foundation for new ways of being the church and new ways of living in community. We may not even fully understand this work until years from now. Others may be reading diaries or letters or records of what we did. There may be unfamiliar territory ahead, but the preliminary work can move us forward.
Let us pray...
Loving Savior, our Lord and King, you give us the power to give voice to the voiceless. Help us to walk alongside those who most need our support and encouragement. May these relationships form a network of love that creates a voice that is heard for years to come. Amen