Can I Get a Witness?
The guests start zipping up their down jackets, attempt to pull last bits of meat off the roast pig, and the microphone just sits there on the grass.
Come on, it says, now or never. I grab it and then grab Jen.
Falling into a rhythm so ancient and familiar, we start to sing Grand Funk Railroad’s “Some Kind of Wonderful,” just like we did 100,000 times when we were 10. Listening to it now, it’s a grindy-sexy and male anthem, but we loved delivering it in opera voice and cow voice in the way back of the station wagon and as we walked up West Street in our Dr. Scholl’s.
One of my oldest friends, Jen, got married a few days ago and her new husband had requested there be no formal, tear-jerking toasts at the wedding. No hilarious yarns from the golden days of decades-old friendships. So I didn’t prepare anything. But as the day started to wind down and the couple headed off to their future, it felt wrong not to call up a single moment of the past.
Jen was a great sport and we gave the song as good a go as we could. (I was so in the moment, I didn’t even put down the cupcake I was eating.)
So often I wait for the perfect moment. Hit pause until the better technology comes along. Put it off until the right alignment floats into place like a magical dove. Even typing these words of hesitation feels like sinking my fingers and mind into muddy quicksand. Blahdy-blahdy-blah. It’s so, so, so tiring to wait, isn’t it?
It felt so great and free to be up there singing that song all out, in a grabbed-at moment with my oldest friend that would never come around again.
What about you?
And what is right on the other side of putting it out there?
If you were a child of the amazing 70s, you might remember the line in the song, “Can I get a witness?”
I didn’t know what that meant when we were little and just assumed it was a witness in court. Later I learned it was a tradition in certain African-American churches for a speaker who shared a testimony or insight to invite others to clap or shout “Amen!” by asking, “Can I get a witness?”
It’s kind of what we’re all trying to do, isn’t it? Just get a witness?
When you share your stories, you’re really asking others—your people, your tribe—to shout out their Amen.
So, the thing is, you’ve got to give them something to witness.
If you’ve been hitting pause on telling your story or sharing your message, let’s get on the phone.
Let me be your witness, because, man, do I get it! Grab your complimentary 30-minute clarity session right here.