Words matter. They carry weight to last beyond your lifetime and mine (think the Bible, classic literature, letters, etc.). Lately though all of my words seem stuck, lodged firmly in my throat. It’s twisty and there are so many thoughts swirling about but no real connection to any of it.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’m studying the book of James right now with a friend. It’s the go-to Scripture for warning against a hasty tongue. Sometimes we are to just hush our mouths. But there is also everything right with speaking out against injustice, speaking words of encouragement to someone in need, but what about when you can’t find the right words to say anything at all?
When this happens author Emily Freeman advises to wait and listen. Then there are the honest words from my seven year old: “waiting hard!” At least he gets it. Waiting IS hard no matter how old you get.
But it’s worth the waiting for, trusting that words will come. Sometimes we don’t need to say anything, but just be present with someone who needs you. I know it doesn’t feel that way but God really does know best. He understands the specific situation or season of life you’re in. God knows that our summer routine at home is a whole different beast from the rest of the year, so my energy is depleted more. I have less words, less time, just… less.
And there is grace for that. Grace to show ourselves as we recognize our limitations.
The truth is I’m tired and my memory is becoming more and more like the lovable but forgetful blue fish Dory. This post is just to say that yes words do matter, so we should be careful with what we say- in person or online. Sometimes it means we listen to a friend without interrupting (because a listening ear is healing for the one who needs to talk it out); or we wait before weighing in on a issue; or simply sit in the hush of God’s presence, receiving His Word.
So when words won’t come? When the verbal strait-jacket won’t budge? Listen. Be quiet. And wait. God is the Master Wordsmith- He gives us our words when we need them.
Grace upon grace,