There are times when life must come to a complete halt to get my attention. My eyes are closed shut, ears deafened, limbs fall limp, and my senses seem to stall.
It certainly isn’t a desired place I seek out, but these seasons come.
And they go.
While these seasons are around, reliving the same conversations, same questions and same words of direction, can be taxing, no matter how appropriate they may be. In a culture overloaded with chatter, when more words are flying through the atmosphere, through our fingertips, and our multiple screens (never mind our lips) than ever before, it may be that words have lost great meaning amongst all the noise. When our social interactions rely on an overload of technological devices, it's a wonder we can hold onto any words at all.
We are a culture that love words, be it books, lyrics or even our Twitter newsfeed. But words these days have become so...word-y, if you will. We like to express ourselves. And we appreciate a variety of expressions.
We are so used to reading commentary that is thoughtless, replying to topics that are tireless and, though social media (the silent soundtrack of our lives) can make us feel so aware and well-informed, we can get easily lost in the confusion and succumb to a living that is mindless. Which is why when the wheels of life (work, relationships, plans) come to a screeching stop, our minds and souls require words of substance to elevate our emotions and recall the simple truths we have forgotten. Words we rarely engage.
While we’re tweeting and texting away, tossing out words as if they were paper planes, concocting these little paper mache pieces we wrap up and hurl at each other assuming they’ll just disintegrate with time, words have lasting impact. Words shape our thoughts. Words direct our emotions. Words have immense power. But when the only words we take in each day are in this mass conglomerate, thanks to wifi, we limit ourselves greatly.
I highly doubt I’m the only individual who can feel lost in all this noise at times (she types, as she adds to the white noise).
Living with all these forms of media may have turned our attention away from simple pleasures, necessary moments, and even unseen powers that can be absorbed simply reading a concentrated form of words in silence, and still linger in the silence long enough that so it’s lasting impact could truly sink in.
Lately, when life hits pause on me, I am in dire need of reflection and revision for the grand scheme of things. Be it words of hope, love or truth, there is little else that has the ability to quiet and impress upon my soul like well fitted words from a poem or Psalm.
Love After Love
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
by Derek Walcott
One thing I love most of my faith is the power of words created to direct and guide my soul. If it weren’t for a God who cared about such things as the beauty of the written word, poetry for my faith, I doubt my faith would stand as strong as it does today.
1For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
3How long will all of you attack a man
to batter him,
like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
4They only plan to thrust him down from his high position.
They take pleasure in falsehood.
They bless with their mouths,
but inwardly they curse.
5For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
6 He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
7On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.
9 Those of low estate are but a breath;
those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath.
10Put no trust in extortion;
set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, set not your heart on them.
11 Once God has spoken;
twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
12and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
For you will render to a man
according to his work.