The Voice

The Voice

Her voice, it seemed to be the source of her salvation and her suffering. I was totally surprised.  It was a final miracle in a day full a perfectly-timed occurrences. I headed off to the military base to wash clothes at the laundry facilities.  I heard it was free, and that was too good to pass up.  After negotiating with a couple of attendants to watch our bags, another Embassy employee and I went over to Subway to have lunch while we waited for a washing machine to open up.  When we walked in, I saw Joia, a young black woman who was the Embassy’s Public Diplomacy officer and a friend of my husband.  With her was a tall American woman and a curly-haired light skinned woman. I greeted them all and then paused in recognition: the light skinned woman’s face was familiar. “Is your name Stacy,” I asked. “Yes,” she said. I shook her hand, you are one of my husband’s favorite people in the Foreign Service.  I couldn’t remember exactly why but my husband told me later that Stacy was a few years older than us at our university, FAMU.

She had already entered the State Department and she was one of the first people who made my husband believe he could do it.  She was a good role model for him. What are you doing here! I thought you were in Asia, she exclaimed. After explaining what brought our paths together, my TDY and her conference, I found out she was staying in my hotel for only one more night, so we agreed to meet for dinner.  We had delicious Lebanese food with two other people in town attending the same conference and Joia and her husband were our hosts.  I ate too much but I was happy. We went back to our hotel to hang out at the bar. And that’s when I met another tall and elegant black woman. She had a foreign accent but when I was introduced to her all I could say was, “You’re so pretty!”  I underestimated her. I had no idea that the piano and microphone in the bar that I thought was a prop was actually her stage every night of the week.  She was off on Wednesdays. Before she took the stage, she walked over to me and I said, “How you doing?”  She said: “it’s you! I thought it was you! I was having a terrible day today and I passed you in the hotel and you said how you doing.  Once you passed me, I burst into tears.  It seemed as if you were a sign from God!!”

Kindall Sunshine Hayes

Kindall Sunshine Hayes spent the majority of her life chiefly concerned about herself. As the youngest of four children, she struggled with self-absorption and all of the ills that come with it: fear, perfectionism, neediness, and pride. She often found her family telling her that she should be more considerate of others, or that every situation was not about her. It was only after getting married and moving to the other side of the world that Kindall came face to face with her own insecurities and the damage it did to herself and others. For the two years that she accompanied her husband on a diplomatic assignment to Bangladesh, she remained silent about her new experiences living as an expat and visiting more than 20 different countries. She abandoned writing, journaling and all forms of social media, relying on her husband and friends to keep her family informed on her wellbeing. Living abroad and in a different time zone made her feel entitled to personal privacy. In her last few months in South Asia, after growing in her job, as a helpmate, and a world traveler, God convicted her to come out of silence with this scripture: "You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God...” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:14-16‬ ‭MSG‬‬. Through this personal account and with God's power, Kindall will attempt to do something that all youngest children hate to do: share.

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