I love words. I love how they wrap up a feeling and spring-board an idea. I love how words can paint the tumultuous storms of life in lightning-strike clarity. I love how emotions can be soothed by words, like the calm of an unhurried afternoon tea in the garden where the gentle breeze blows through the bushes; or emotions can be hair-raised and roller-coastered with violent passion that makes us bold and pushy.
I love to write in my journal in the mornings and pour out my hopes, prayers and despairs. I love to hear the Spirit’s whispers to my soul and I write them down. I love to express my experiences and fathom my feelings through writing: songs, poetry, word lists, letters, articles.
I love to read and hear the Word of God. I love to hear the stories of others who have walked the path of faith before me so long ago. To hear the heart-breaking poetry of the Psalms and the soul-spliting crispness of Jesus’ words as He challenges me to draw near to Him and dare to trust Him and boldly step out and act.
Words can build up or tear down. They can provide understanding and perspective. They can open doors and board up others. They provide a vocabulary for experience and increase the capacity of the mind to grasp ideas and concepts. Words create new worlds to explore.
When I was a child I would read books and skip over the long descriptions of the scenery. I never slowed down to allow the words to become painted scenes in my mind. Those words seemed superfluous to the action and could be missed out without altering the core of the story.
As I homeschool and read aloud many a story to my boys I now read these descriptions and see a life in them I never knew existed. The texture of those descriptions is what brings the stories alive and transports us to those settings of a desert-island, the Yorkshire moors, Victorian London, Australia at the time the Europeans first set foot.
Although words can be a vehicle for life, words are limited. Sometimes I cannot capture how I am feeling within the depths of the languages I know. My mind searches for the word, and even metaphors fail to provide the links with my experience. I also have no words that are enough when I read the news and hear of another life destroyed, another evil act committed.
Words can fling open new worlds, but I must choose to enter. Words are often a door to relationship and understanding, but they are not the inside room. When we find ourselves without words we can be comforted that we are in that inside room.
And that inside room is where the Divine inhabits. It is a form of prayer, for what is prayer if not fellowshipping with the Almighty? When the words cease and we choose to trust Him, we come to truly rest on His chest. We must say only what we need to say so we can enter into that rest in the inside room.
I have already said too many words. May they only be a doorway, a prayer leading to Him.
And then let us not rush away
but instead linger
in the silence
in the inner room
to His heartbeat
and know we can trust Him fully.