I must confess- I love public speaking.
I love it. I love finding ways to say things that captures everyone’s attention. I love throwing out feelings of joy, silliness, gravity, passion, indignation, and heartbreak and having them nestle in the audience, grow, and come flying back to me. I feel like I’m playing an instrument of ideas and emotions. Plus, I love telling people what I’ve learned.
I’m helping organize my husband’s family reunion. One of his great uncles founded a religious commune even more extreme than my church, to give an idea of how seriously this family takes religion and tradition.
One of the uncles, a pastor, was to give the Sunday sermon. I just learned that he likely won’t be able to make it. He asked if I could find a few people to give short testimonies instead.
See my temptation! Aarrrgh! I don’t want to abuse any power I have as assistant organizer. I want to promote unity and make people feel comfortable but I also want to get people thinking.
I’m also not a believer, and even though I can speak the language, I can’t in good conscience give messages I believe are harmful – like talking about the glory of god and the depravity of humans, talking about the virtue of blind faith, romanticizing suffering or any of the proposed topics the pastor gave. Ugh. I wouldn’t want my children listening to them either.
Do I appoint others to speak and go canoeing Sunday morning? Or do I participate and just be encouraging?