"May the words of my mouth and meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:14
There are so many ways to use words.
Puzzles, like crosswords and searches. Acrostics - like one of my favorites: JOY= Jesus, Others, Yourself
Playing games like Scrabble or Boggle. Giving directions and explaining how things work.
Words are in books, in song, in games, in more digital formats then I can think to describe, including this blog right here.
But I think that perhaps the most important is still the spoken word.
Our voice includes emotion. It rises and falls. It gives clues to what we are thinking, meaning, trying to communicate. It is so very full.
I have struggled with words in the last few weeks.
More appropriately, I have been disappointed by words.
Words have been spoken that hurt. Words have been written that discouraged.
I must admit that when the hurtful words were spoken, about someone that I love, my first instinct was to strike back. For just a split second I could almost envision myself smacking someone.
That is a huge admission for me to make, and explains how very upset I was, because I normally don't have a violent bone in my body.
Instead, I simply carried on with the conversation. Because here is the kicker - the person who said the hurtful words didn't even know they were hurtful. They say them so often, without thinking, without considering the feelings of others, that they had no idea I was crying inside.
Later, I got to cry on the outside, but it still left me discouraged. And wondering what to do.
Words - such power.
When Bin Laden was killed there was celebrating in the streets and many, many words about the situation. Within minutes Facebook was covered with comments.
As a military wife, I couldn't help but feel relief that a military target had been found, that a goal of the armed forces had been accomplished. Some fear that fighting would be stronger in retaliation, but relief also.
However, celebrating death, of anyone, is beyond my comprehension.
But I watched the words flow. In one part of FB, among friends who don't know Jesus, there was lots of hate. In another realm, among my Christian friends, a round of bickering about who was right about celebrating the death of an enemy- quoting different scripture and arguing God's take on the death of a man that none of them had ever met. As if any of us know the mind of God.
I only knew my own feelings. My disappointment, and discouragement, in words.
So I have been stewing over my words, and praying about my words, and trying to spend some time in The Word.
I can't say I have any answers. I just know that words have power. Power to lift up, or tear down. Power to encourage or to crush someone's last hope. Power to share unfailing, unending love, or to show hate that frightens to the core. Yes, words have power. I am taking that very, very seriously.
As always, Blessings,