Can You Hear Me Now?

I stumbled upon a “Spoken Word” performance that took place at the White House last year that I want to share with everyone. The performance itself is fantastic. But the words, like all great poems, have literally resonated within me and, with each passing hour, I find new meaning hidden within the text.

On tomorrow’s show (Special Afternoon Edition of Your Family Matters with Michael and Gina, 4-6:00 PM WLQV AM-1500 in Detroit, www.FaithTalk1500.com on the Internet), Gina and I will discuss the challenges of talking about faith matters with the those who don’t necessarily believe what we believe. How do we effectively accomplish that in a way that others can hear, yet we can remain true to our faith?

Watch this video – it is only a little more than 2 minutes long. Speaking to one another in a way that we can each hear has to be our first priority. Without it, we can never share the good news.

And… even if you’re not in your car tomorrow because of SNOW-PACALYPSE 2011! Please listen to the show from 4:00 – 6:00 PM. We’d also love it if you called in… (866) 423-9578. See you then.

Click below to read a complete transcript of the poem…

Here is a complete transcript of the poem. The asterisks appear where he performs sign language.

Tamara has never listened to hip hop. 
Never danced to the rhythm of raindrops or fallen asleep to a chorus of chirping crickets. She has been Deaf 
for as long as I’ve been alive. 
And ever since the day I first turned five my father has said: 
“Joshua. 
Nothing is wrong with Tamara. 
**God just makes 
some people 
different.**” 

And at that moment 
those nine letters felt like hammers 
swung gracefully by unholy hands to shatter my stained glass innocence 
into shards that can never be pieced back together 
or do anything more than sever the ties between my sister and I. I waited, 
was patient numberless years anticipating the second her ears would open like lotuses and allow my sunlight senses to seep into her insides 
make her remember 
all of those conversations we must have had in heaven back when God handpicked us to be sibling souls centuries ago. 
I still remember her 20th birthday. 
Readily recall my awe-struck 11 year old eyes as I watched Deaf men and women of all ages dance in unison to the vibration of speakers booming so loud that I imagined angels chastising us for disturbing their worship with such beautiful blasphemy. 
Until you have seen **a Deaf girl dance, you know nothing of passion.**
There was a barricade between us that I never took the time to destroy never even for a moment thought to look up the sign for **sister**, for **family**, for **goodbye. I will see you again someday.**
remember the face of your little brother. 

It is only now I see that I was never willing to put in the extra effort to love her properly. 
So as the only person in my family who is not fluent in sign language 
I’ve decided to take this time to apologize.

Tamara 
**I am sorry 
for my silence.** 

For true love knows no frequency, and so 
I will use these hands to speak volumes that van never be contained within the boundaries of sound waves 
I will shout at the top of my fingertips until digits dance and relay these mental messages directly to your soul.

I know 
that there is no poem 
that can make up for all the time we have lost so 
please, 
if you can, 
**just listen.**

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