"Delilah" Finds Her Niche

Most of you (probably all of you girls) have Delilah on the radio. She listens nightly to her callers stories of love and selects music specifically for them. She laughs, cries and counsels from her Seattle studio. She's also super successful, with her voice reaching six million people on 200 stations in all 50 states. But she wasn't always so successful during her early school years. In fact, she could be a royal pain. Although she didn't actually speak until she was over two years old, when she did start, she never stopped. The back of her report cards always had personal notes from teachers. The first quarter, the remarks might be "she has a bit of a problem with excessive talking." The second quarter would get a little more direct: "Delilah is enthusiastic, but she tends to talk out of turn." By the end of the year, the comment would read, "Your daughter needs to shut up in class." She'd blurt out the answers to questions and "whisper" to her friends. Problem was, her voice carried, so that her whisper would equal another kid's normal voice. Her second grade teacher had to take drastic measures by duct-taping her mouth. But nothing could prevent her from speaking. She pushed it free with her tongue and continued talking to her friends. In middle school her teachers picked her for the cheerleading squad for their "miserable" basketball team, knowing that her voice would carry. But what she really wanted was a shiny gold pin that students got for extracurricular activities. But what could she do? She didn't know who she was, what she was good at, where she fit in. According to Delilah, "I wasn?t compact or limber enough to make the gymnastics teams. I had no musical talent, zero; so the school band was out. No choir either; I couldn?t sing a note to save my life. Even my piano teacher, Mrs. Bryant, had almost literally thrown me out. Then the school announced a speech contest would take place. Anyone could enter. I signed up in every category. And to my delight, I won every category, except one. Suddenly I became the junior high equivalent of a superstar. I collected a handful of silver dollars. And I got my school pin. It was amazing. I suddenly realized that the world had a place for people who talked too much, where the results were not sharp notes on the backs of report cards but admiration, applause, even money, not to mention the joy of joining the wearers of the school pin." The contest judges owned a small radio station in her hometown. At thirteen she delivered her first report on KDUN 1470 AM, Reedsport, Oregon. What at first seemed a liability turned out to be her greatest asset. She found herself, what she loved, what she excelled at, her place in life. She still loves to talk and to get others talking about their lives. God has given each of us unique talents and gifts. It's our responsibility to seek Him to discover those gifts and how they can be used to bless others. (Written by Steve Miller, copyright April, 2003. Source: Love Someone Today : Encouragement and Inspiration for the Times of Our Lives by Delilah, Fireside; (May 2001), pp. 216-219.

Print illustration | Close window