I was listening to an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and Daniel Day Lewis, and they were talking about the making of the movie Lincoln, in which Lewis won the Academy Award for Best Actor.
They referenced how Lewis had captured Lincoln’s voice, and Oprah said that the voice is the fingerprint of the soul.
I thought, Wow, that’s really profound!
And I think it’s true.
My voice works in a couple of ways:
- It communicates who I am to the world.
My voice is my heart and my soul projected to the world. Jesus put it like this: “… the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart” (Matthew 15:18). So, there’s a voice that speaks to the world and communicates the heart. Listening to someone talk can allow you to see their heart, which I believe is the fingerprint of their soul. This voice comes from a deeper and almost unconscious place.
2. My voice speaks to me about who I am in my soul.
If you want to check and see how well you are doing in your Christian life, then listen to the voice that comes from your heart. Do you hear bitterness, strife, or anger toward yourself? Or do you hear mercy, compassion, and forgiveness?
A critical voice says you’re this, you’re that, you’re not good enough, you’re going to fail. It’s just not a kind voice, and it’s not the voice coming from our true self.
While watching the movie and thinking of Lincoln’s voice, I realized he believed in the goodness of his soul, even though he faced great adversity. And without a strong and compassionate voice coming from his true self, he would not have been able to succeed in saving our country from the horrible plagues of slavery and keep us united.
That’s almost a microcosm of how we are as an individual. If we don’t have a true voice coming from our true self to integrate the divine in us, we will be divided.
It is a horrible price we pay for a disintegrated mind. We need to pay close attention to the voice that is speaking to us. We need to position ourselves and make room for the divine voice, so God can free us and allow us to love ourselves.
Freedom comes when God’s voice calls us the beloved. But I can’t hear this if I’m listening to shame and guilt. Henri Nouwen once wrote, “Be gentle with yourself and let your heart be your loving parent as you live your wounds through.”
Allow God’s voice to transform your voice.
To speak the love that is the fingerprint of your soul.
 Henri Nouwen, The Essential Henri Nouwen, (Boston: Shambhala, 2009), 56.