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How Can I Preach Without a Voice?

Slowly I surfaced to consciousness. Where was I? Lying in a strange room, hurting and struggling for breath. I tried to speak, but nothing came out. I lifted my right arm from the blanket and moved it around. Soon I felt the warmth of a stranger's hand. "You're okay, Mr. Wilson. The surgery went great. Your wife is anxious to see you."

Thirty minutes later they rolled me back to my room. My wife, Susan, was there waiting. "Was there any nerve damage?" I whispered. "What did the doctor say? Will my voice return?"

The doctor didn't know, she said. He'd know more tomorrow.

Tomorrow came, and the first doctor I saw was the anesthesiologist. She asked how I was doing. "I can't talk," I said in a raspy whisper.

"Do you mean it hurts to talk?"

"No," I croaked. "I can't talk."

She looked shocked and began to fumble with her chart, murmuring something about it maybe being temporary. Then she left the room without saying goodbye.

She knows something, I thought. What happened in that operating room? ...

May/June
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