On Monday afternoon I went to see The King’s Speech — a movie about King George VI who had a speech impediment from a very young age. His stammering made it impossible for him to make public speeches. In 1939, however, war was declared with Germany and the King was expected to bring a word of comfort and courage to the nation. The King’s Speech is one of personal triumph and how it was achieved — most notably through a transformative friendship with a speech therapist.
I will not tell you anymore about the movie except to make an observation: Lionel Logue (the speech therapist) insisted on referring to the king as Bertie (the name used only by his wife and family) and not Your Royal Highness, as royal etiquette required. Instead, Lionel demanded a relationship of equality. By using the name Bertie, he related to the king as a person first before his role as king.
To be healed of our own stuttering lives we all need relationships of equality where we are seen as people first, regardless of our role or position. O God fill our lives with Lionel-like-people as we pray to be Lionel-like-people to others.
Sunday 3 April 2011