“I give thanks to God always for you because of the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him with all speech and all knowledge—“ I Corinthians 1:4-5
Yesterday was a day of words. My newly chosen profession at this point is one of words (interesting the word, profession.) I am fascinated with words – and dictionaries and websites like this. I get so tired of words and yet, how else am I to spread the Word?
I had a good friend who said that words and the capability of abstract thought are the two things that separate us from the other animals – that and the breath of God in Genesis 1.
I noticed a list of “banished words” that Lake Superior State University has authored. No more carbs, enemy combatants, sales events or…. blogs. (Have you ever noticed that Word (the software product) wants to change blog into bogs? How appropriate!) It made me wonder if there are words that I should put onto my own “banished” list – can’t, never, “shoulda, coulda, woulda,” words of hate, rejection, words of exclusivity, words of self-pity and whining, words of anger and bitterness, words that wound and hurt.
And words I should put on a “use more” list – thank you, please – words of gratitude and praise for my God, my spouse, children and friends. Words like enough and peace and Shema. Words on the horizontal. Words that form a bridge between myself and others, a connection. And words that reach out to the vertical, that reach out from my flawed humanity and reach toward the Divine.
We religious types really use the word Word. “And the Word became flesh….” “God (spoke the Word and) said ‘Let there be light.’” Using Word to describe our scriptures. There is such a mystery to this. Our words cannot express what the Word is – the Word cannot be held by our fleeting words. The Word that is spoken -- begotten and not made, a Word that is of one substance with the Father, this Word cannot be contained. This Word is eternal and not ephemeral -- vanishing into the void. The Word was spoken at Creation and still is being spoken, never ending and beyond us, yet we continually reach for it.
God made us in his own image. Of all his creation, God breathed his breath into us. We have some of that creation spirit within us. Our words, too, can have power. The person who first said “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” is wrong. Words can and do hurt. If God can speak creation into being and if we are made in the image of God, we too have some small power to create – or to destroy.
What will you do with your words this year? What will I? What will I resolve?* How will I use my words this year? I have decided to use this blogging thing as a sort of spiritual discipline and to just take care – realizing that words have power and to watch my words.
* another interesting word – to resolve is to break up or melt, to separate, to deal with successfully, to reach a firm decision about, or my favorite -- to progress from dissonance to consonance.