The King's Speech

I saw this movie recently, and very much enjoyed it. It hit home on a number of levels, with wonderful production values.

Stuttering

I’ve never struggled with stutters, but every now and again do get tongue tied. Years ago I worked with a local high school’s production, helping them along with the music, and agreed to help audition the young men and women for the parts.

One rose head and shoulders above the rest, and I was very adamant that he get the part – I didn’t understand why there was so much hesitation before he was cast. He did an amazing job and naturally blew everyone away.

What I did not know until after the show was well underway is that the young man had a stuttering dilemma, and many were worried that he would freeze during the play.

I was astounded… I said quite honestly that I had never heard him stutter, throughout hours of rehearsal and performance. I ran into him off and on for a few years after that, and again never noticed once that he had a stuttering issue.

Perhaps, similar to the movie The King’s Speech, music helped him with the issue and helped free him of it.

Stage Fright

While I’ve never suffered with a stammer, I have suffered with terrible stage fright on and off for years. I thought the film captured very well the feelings of the man as he approached the microphone… acutely aware of the silence; painfully aware of the mic looming ahead as all of the blood seemed to leave his body and everyone sat, or stood … staring.

Silently waiting.

I understand it for what it is, I try to evaluate it, and take all the physical precautions I can given allergies, asthma… etc. And there are times when it does not bother me in the least. But at least half the time I feel all the emotions which are demonstrated in this movie, and just work my way through it, keeping my mind on the importance of the tasks at hand.

Moving Forward

moses at the burning bush - chagall

At the end of the movie, I don’t think it’s giving anything away to say that King George VI made a great and outstanding speech at the dawn of WWII, which helped rouse and inspire a nation. He evidently always struggled, but he always tried. And that is what mattered the most.

It did not come naturally to him; he worked at it over and over and over again; and worked through it. It’s a beautifully told story, and exceptionally tender as he struggles through his speech so eloquently, moving so many people at a time of gravity.

It’s inspiring to me, to be sure. My public obligations are nowhere near as weighty; and I understand that a part of public speaking is the butterflies and the pressure.

But for those certain moments, when the blood is draining away, the butterflies grow a thousandfold, and I’m suddenly walking as if in a dream into an area with way too many spotlights, and everyone is sitting there staring … and waiting… I’m glad this man found his voice. I’m thankful his story’s been told.

It’s written in Scripture that Moses was slow and heavy of tongue, and feared public speaking. God saw him through, and even sent Aaron, as Moses was so terrified of speaking.

Rising to the will of God in our lives is what it most important.

When we genuinely try (and even if we complain, given the example of Moses,) He will help us through with an outpouring of graces, so that His will is done.