Australia is known far and wide by the voice of their bushmen. My father in the 30s on his dairy far, his voice carried and the dairy herd knew it.
Our young writer program now in its 11th year says that Christian Today provides young people their own Voice!
There are many ideas behind a Voice. Actors, by necessity, acquire the skills associated with creating a different voice for the specific role in the film or the repertory production.
Politicians when giving a major speech more than often raise their voice as do corporate leaders and preachers. Athletes after a match are often struggling for breath and we don't hear their 'usual voice', as say when at home.
Some time ago now, Science Daily had a feature, from their research, that said the sound of a mother's voice over the telephone for a distressed adult (child) has an astonishing calming effect. It's better than a mother's hug!
The voice of Australia Day
The voice of Australia Day is celebratory. Boats of all descriptions on harbours, bays, rivers, inlets, lakes and water ways. Picnics of all diverse manners including our Brisbane and Gold Coast young writers Australia Day picnic.
The national voices from the Governor General, to the Prime Minister, to the Leader of the Opposition, politicians of all colours and types all have their say and the news casts report what is said. Those honoured from being named Australian of the Year to community and military awards have a voice.
Likewise the key note voice will be about “us” and how Australians reflect and rejoice in this bountiful land while many indigenous voices will say something else.
The sound of a voice
As an avid historian (44 years ago a first class honours in Church History) I have often pondered about the power of the sound of a person's voice. Watching a documentary, I heard Hitler's normal speaking voice which was surprisingly deep, conveying a quiet self assurance, yet he exercised a very different voice in his dramatic public speaking (as seen in documentaries).
I wondered about the voices of the figures of history which we can only read in the pages of history. How did Peter the disciple sound when he preached his Acts 2 sermon on the day of Pentecost? What was the Apostle Paul's voice like as he challenged the philosophers of the unknown God, or Justin Martyr’s as he spoke leading up to being burnt at the stake? How does one imagine the voice of Francis of Assisi as he talked to the birds or that of Martin Luther or John Wesley?
Those who have heard the evangelist Billy Graham, either live or on television, know the distinctive sound of his preaching voice, and on the Internet today we can hear the voices of many Christian, business, sporting and political figures.
As my four children grew from infancy, the first thing I wanted to hear was the sound of their voice, as every individual has a distinctive sound, even twins are not exact alike. People have always said that when I ring, they know the sound of my voice. Jesus spoke of those who believe in Him know the sound opf His voice. It seems that our voice is a pretty important part of who we are.
But there are other voices, that carry much more weight throughout history, these are the voices of a mother and a father, a grandmother and a grandfather, the voice of a beloved mentor.
It is said that she who rocks the cradle rules the world, and many a mother has had an enormous impact on their children by the quiet word of comfort, compassion and love. We can even think of plots, and in Biblical terms, we can think of Rebekah getting Jacob to fool Issac, or Herodias having her daughter dance before Herod and asking for John the Baptist's head.
A father's voice can likewise have an enormous influence on their children, with words of wisdom and advice, and Paul sends a warning to fathers not to press their children too hard.
The New Testament has numerous examples of influential grandparents, as well as the idea of mentors such as Paul was to Timothy. These are the voices upon which Christian heritage is built, they are not recorded in the annals of history, but leave a lasting legacy upon which each new generation hears the examples of the blessings in following the Lord.
It is interesting, that when I read my late mother and father's letters, I can hear the sound of their unique voices. These are inaudible voices. Servicemen and women have this voice imagery after hanging up the phone (or Skype) in another continent. It lasts for a long time.
There is another voice, a still quiet voice that one might hear in the depths of one's heart, the voice of the Holy Spirit. Those in Christian service have heard this voice and keenly listen for in it is joy and thanksgiving!
This Australia Day, there will be many voices. In my world there will be the beautiful voice of my wife of 38 years, the voice of the terrific young writers on the picnic, the voice of national heroes and leaders on the radio and television news and there will be the voice of the Lord in my own devotions to help guide me and lead me.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 25 books, and enjoys writing. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded ‘The Gutenberg’ - the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award. In September 2020 Summer Moore presented her commission portrait of Dr Mark Tronson holding the Gutenberg plaque. He and David Chang editor of Christian Today together bought the young writer ministry into fruition in 2009. In 2011 Mark established Laguna Quays Respite (Whitsundays) for missionary respite and replicated at Aldinga Beach 2016 (Adelaide) and Greens Beach Bass Straight (TAS). His ministry is honoured all these years by Christian philanthropist Mr Basil Sellers AM. He is married to Delma (44 years), with four adult married children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/dr-mark-t.html