This slideshow is only available for subscribers. Please log in or subscribe to view the slideshow.
Like the Oscar voters who named The King's Speech the best movie of 2010, I loved the movie (which just released to DVD) not just for its excellence, but for a particularly poignant reason: I am a stutterer. And I'm a pastor, which means my problem, like the king's, is often quite public.
I prefer "stutterer" to "stammerer" because of the onomatopoeic irony: the word sounds like the sound. It's a term fraught with consonant-rich pitfalls for those inflicted with the impediment. You can tell a lisper by how they "lithp." You can tell a stutterer by how they "st-st-stutter"—and sometimes that yields embarrassing and painful moments, especially for a child.
I remember in school when we were all required to read aloud. I cannot express the dread that would sit, knotted and grotesque, in the pit of my stomach as I waited for the death knell signifying my turn to read. Usually, I was mercifully given small parts, usually one sentence, but they grew all out of proportion in my mind, becoming the enemy. I would flip forward in my book, counting the pages till my part, inwardly pleading for the bell to ring—signifying the end of class and my reprieve from a fate worse than death.
In one class, there was a boy who delighted in tormenting me because of my stutter and the ensuing facial contortions. His impersonations weren't that great, but still they were like a knife to my heart. One time he mocked me and, driven by irrepressible rage and impotent outrage, I punched him. The manliness of my just onslaught was somewhat offset by the fact that I was crying like a baby. But beggars can't be choosers. And even though I hit him, he got in trouble. For that instant, life was sweet. (Plus, girls thought my stutter was cute. ...
To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.
Sign up today for our newsletter: Christianity Today Weekly. CTWeekly delivers the best content from ChristianityToday.com to your inbox each week.
To unlock this article for your friends, use any of the social share buttons on our site, or simply copy the link below.
To share this article with your friends, use any of the social share buttons on our site, or simply copy the link below.
To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.