Our Unique Human Voice
by Martha Nelson
I recently listened to the soundtrack theme from the film “Saving Private Ryan” (Hymn to the Fallen by John Williams)– the one with the choral “ahh aah” in the background that adds so much human emotion to the piece. It reminded me of a BBC radio interview I’d heard with a singer from London Voices, a choir that specializes in the “wordless” choral background part of productions. London Voices provided the vocal for many productions including “Lord of the Rings”, where they sang in “elf”.
Conductors seek them out, the singer in the interview said, because despite all the advances in computer technology and voice recognition, no one has perfected the sound of a real human voice. The true sound of your voice or mine cannot be exactly replaced by a machine. They just can’t do it.
Talk to the Animals?
I find this fact surprising and also very touching. We as humans are not like animals. We might fool an animal with our best wolf howl or duck call, but as humans we can HEAR the difference between a fake and real human voice – even if it’s just “ooh” and “aah” which the London Voices singer said was often what they were asked to sing.
Could this sense of our “humanness” be a clue to what our Creator is like? Maybe He is a lot like us -- not a machine or an animal or a disinterested spirit. To make us He must be at least as personable as we are – and able to communicate as we do – and able to recognize our voices as something special.
The book of Genesis talks about God creating the world, the animals, the plants – and then the first man and woman. But unlike the animals, the humans were made in his own image: “in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27) (In other words, it takes both men and women to express God’s nature since they are both made in His image.) So, you might say that God is like us – because He made us like Himself.
Talking to a Friend
Have you ever tried to talk to God? That’s really what prayer is – not a formal religious exercise but a reaching out to someone else – like a dear friend who can understand you. It’s not complicated; any of us can do it. And because God made you like Himself, don’t you think He’d want to say something back?