Words to Build a Life On:
The Greatest is Love
(The Luke passage shifts the subject speaking from the two people walking to Emmaus [v.19] to Jesus [v.27]. This isn’t immediately obvious on this particular bible website. FYI. One solution is to read the entire Emmaus Passage)
I’ve been thinking this week about words.
We human beings are meaning making creatures
And we do that, largely, with our words.
There was a time, as a child, that I marveled at language.
Now, I don’t want to oversell this.
I didn’t go through a dictionary page by page with a highlighter or anything.
I didn’t have a THESAURUS more beloved than the favorite books of my childhood.
And I spent more time watching Thundercats or Looney Toons
Than I did thinking about any of this
But I remember making lists of words that I found absolutely incredible
That last one I had a friend use once when we were out flipping through CDs
I’m sure he was trying to sound smart.
And he did, in a sort of weird way for a 13 year old.
What he meant was that he was hungry, and he wanted to go get some pizza.
It might have just been easier for him to say that, you know,
Instead of having me wonder which album he was going to “pick”
As he was going about being peckish.
Words are fascinating.
I used to love contemplating words.
I would listen to the speeches made by presidents or leaders
And they would sometimes bring me to tears.
We’d talk in Sunday School about stories from the Bible
And we’d talk about what was said, and what wasn’t said
How things got left out,
Or maybe how the story was told in a different way in a different place.
And I’d try to get a handle on it
And then I’d sit during worship
And there’d be a sermon about it…more words, sometimes way too many words
But it might be a completely new way of thinking about those stories
And I’d leave wondering all over again.
I would gravitate towards music that played creatively with words
“Well darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable
and lightness has a call that’s hard to hear
I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
I sailed my ship of safety ‘til I sank it
I’m crawling on your shores….” So sang Amy Ray and Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls
“Did you write the book of love
And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible told you so?
Do you believe in Rock and Roll?
Can music save your mortal soul?
And can you teach me how to dance, real slow?”
That was Don McLean, singing American Pie
This is some of the foundation for making me who I am today
All of these words, signifying ideas and emotions and experience.
We human beings are amazing creatures
People who carry this ability to conjure up words
that structure and shape understanding
that enable us to convey something that’s going on up in our heads
or deep in our hearts to another person standing in front of us
or on paper, a few marks joined together
that someone, somewhere, days or years or centuries later
can look and read and, in some way, come to grasp what it is you meant
more or less.
We were cleaning out our basement the other day
And I came across some old pictures with my mom’s handwriting on them
Indicating the picture was me, at age 4 or something [Read more…]