My friends were ready for battle. “Burn the place down!” Both the place and the words made me uncomfortable, but I tend to avoid conflict, so I said and did nothing
One day, however, the sight of a little tough guy standing outside the topless bar compelled me to climb the steps to the nearby trailer and knock. I had no idea what I would say. Sick to my stomach and heart racing, I heard my voice ask the feisty bar owner if she would consider letting the boy (her grandson) come play with my boys. It was not what I thought I would say. I knew then that I was a fool.
Later I took the “little soldier’s” photograph and then painted his picture. I was still a timid fool, painting pictures because I was too mute to speak.
Much, much later, over coffee in my home, the boy’s grandmother told me how she had opened the topless bar to “spite the town” but really wanted it to end. Most of her friends wanted it to stay open.
Mostly tongue-tied, I managed only a brief remark, “Maybe it would be a good idea to close.” Feeling like a fool again, I felt I should have said more or been more emphatic.
Several weeks later, my new friend closed her topless bar and moved toward the water to open a beach store.
I decided to “speak.” I wrote a letter to the editor of the local paper and simply congratulated my friend by name on her new business venture. Probably no one who read the paper had any idea what I was talking about.
Over the years, we remained friends but did not see each other often. My friend died in 2010. She liked listening to Billy Graham on television. The dressing room of the topless bar had a picture of Christ at the last supper on the wall.
The whole experience was a profound lesson to me about being timid and “battle noises.”
It turns out battle noise is cheap. In fact, for only $3.95 you can purchase the canned “Foley” sound of medieval battle noises like that attached to this post or any other desired sound at http://www.audiomicro.com/
According to my older, jobless brother, (employer alert—he is desperately looking for work in media communications, as a videographer, or video editing), “Foley” is not just the name used by a health professional like me to refer to a bladder catheter, but it is also a term used in the film industry for NOISE. “Foley” is the production use of certain noises, recorded, edited, and added to film, video, and other media so that the audience will experience the illusion of the film story to a greater and more believable degree.
I have a personal history with a certain type of “battle noise.” When I hear it, I’ve discovered that I go into some kind of primal instinct preservation mode and obsessively try to decipher what the occurrence of this specific “noise” means and what threat it represents.
The “noise” I refer to is verbal abuse.
I especially trigger off the “sounds” made by men in authority like fathers, CEOs, CFOs, and board chairmen who use harsh words to berate or intimidate other people.
Conflict, disagreements, and even outright confrontation are a necessary part of life, yet shredding your opponent in a demeaning way is never necessary.
Of all “beings,” a perfect God has every reason to “demean” or even “destroy” people. Sometimes He does allow negative impacts to correct a path of sin, but a love-draped cross reflects His attitude toward imperfect men.
How can we presume a greater right to demean another person than God presumes?
I grew up seeing verbal fights that targeted opponents with caustic sentences and intimidating threats. I did not believe any power existed in the “soft answer.”
Now I do.
Proverbs 15:1 says,
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, But the mouth of fools spouts folly.”
There are many other bible references about the power of the tongue. I would love to have a list of them on this post. Please send me your favorite.
Humorously too, if worse comes to worse, when I encounter verbally offensive fools in the future, I can escape into an internal brain sequence (similar to Walter’s thought techniques in the film, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) and imagine barnyard animal noises coming from a CEO’s fiery mouth.
With the help of purchased “Foley” sounds, I can make the idea REAL if only I had a good videographer!
Thanks, Brother John!
Praying for a job for you.
Do your “battle noises” match the conflict? Or like the picture displays, are your “noises” mismatched and over the top?