Giving voice. Singing hope.

CG and I leave before the sun’s up for school. For real.

We follow the moon from where we can see it still shining bright in front of our house, all the way west of downtown, and then by the time I turn around to head east home, the sun is rising over the Ohio River. Every clear-sky weekday, this is how I morning.

Also, I listen to the Bobby Bones show. Which keeps me either laughing, singing, or listening to good stories for the roughly 40-minute round trip. This morning, however, it had me wondering why it was So. Dusty. in my car…such that my eyes were leaking. Because this morning, thanks to Bobby, I first heard the voice of James Dupre.

Mr. Dupre is a singer and former The Voice competitor. He’s got a single out that apparently is doing pretty well. He’s also about to head out on tour with Randy Travis.

And by “head out on tour with,” I mean, “make it possible for Mr. Travis to still share his music.”

You may know that Randy Travis, who’s been singing popular country music since the late seventies, cannot sing anymore due to a stroke in 2013. Y’all, I can’t imagine not being able to speak or sing–I rely on both things to get through every day of my life and they have been central to my career path and to my faith. How much more painful it must be for someone like Mr. Travis to not be able to do what, arguably, he was put on the earth to do.

He cannot sing anymore. 

And yet, this fall, there’s going to be a 16-city tour featuring all his #1 hits, his original band playing the music live, Mr. Travis present…but…James Dupre will be singing.

Y’all. An internationally known chart-topping country music singer who can no longer sing has picked someone to still bring his songs to life and is handing over his microphone and his band to make it happen.

James Dupre is literally giving voice to Randy Travis, who no longer has one. I’m telling you right now, that is what it means to be human. That is what it means to stand with each other no matter what. That is the Gospel.

I know, I know…of course, there will be money made for them all. Of course there will be good press. Of course Mr. Dupre’s career will likely get a much-needed boost. But none of these very pragmatic business matters take away from the beauty of one human being lending his voice to another.

One person…giving voice to the voiceless.

I can assure you, there is someone you know, or at the very least know of, who is struggling to find voice.

  • It might be a loved one, who is simply in such a dark or sad time that he can’t figure out how to speak his pain.
  • It might be your barista, whose trying desperately to hide the bruises her boyfriend left on her the night before.
  • It might be a coworker, who is fighting to stay above water financially and whose shame over that has stifled her.
  • It might be your daughter’s classmates who have less privilege, less security, less support than her, and so act up and act out in ways that harm both themselves and those around them.
  • It might be anyone…who has faced crippling loss, who has battled disease, who is an addict, who isn’t sure where the next meal is coming from, who has been trafficked, who is homeless, who is lonely, who is afraid.
  • It might be you. 

During a particularly difficult time in my life, when I could not believe that anything would be okay, ever again, a dear friend said to me, “It will be okay. This is not the end. And I am going to believe that FOR YOU until you can believe it for yourself.”

I’m going to believe that for you.

I’m going to stand here with you.

I’m going to give voice to what you cannot.

What an unbelievable shift we would create in our families, in our relationships, in our communities, in our country, if we could find our way to being so completely present for each other. Because at one time or another, I promise you, you will need someone to believe for you. To speak for you. To stand with you. We all do. Because this is what it means to live this awful and beautiful life. This is what it means to care for one another as brothers and sisters. As children of God.

When we lend to another a bit of our own strength, our own voice, our own heart, we create space for grace to do its mighty and powerful work. And in that space, mercy flows and hope is able to breathe again.

It’s all around us, y’all, even in an early morning commercial radio show–the things noticing each other, caring for one another, showing up for one another, make possible….











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