Words are important.
Today is New Year’s Day. The first day of 2018.
And, as I usually do on the first day of any given year, I am introspectively taking stock of my life and my world while also looking at the twelve months of canvas that stretch before me.
One of the questions that I often ask myself on these first days of years is this: Why do am I so pulled to write?
There are many answers to that question. It’s multi-faceted. Complicated. I write because that’s how I process life. I write because there are some things that I want to remember, and I write because there are some things that I want to forget. I write because that is how God has wired me.
And, I write because I love words.
This morning, we went on a matinee date to watch the movie Darkest Hour. It chronicles the early days of Winston Churchill’s appointment as Prime Minister, when Great Britain faced certain war against the evil that was Hitler and his regime of terror.
The movie was good. Excellent, even. I don’t know much about Churchill, but after today’s trip to the theater, I am eager to read more about this mumbling, passionate, loud, iconic and fascinating leader and orator.
Because he had a way with words.
He knew the importance of words. He crafted his messages carefully. Word choice was of utmost criticality, because he knew that the words he chose would either unite or divide his country. Understanding his audience and discerning their reaction was crucial. He knew that the people listening to his words were looking for something solid. Truthful. Directive.
They were looking for hope.
Throughout scripture and in examining the history of the church and of Christianity, we see that words are important to God. His words create. They confront and comfort. They convict and correct. His command of words form the very truth upon which we stake our faith and convictions.
But God also used words as the vehicle by which the gospel would be shared from generation to generation. The “God-breathed” scriptures, as referenced in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 bring us the story of God’s redemptive plan for our lives.
Through the study and reading and hearing and preaching of those gospel words, the Holy Spirit plants hope deep inside our souls. Therefore, we find the courage to stand firm on that hope – even when we are on the verge of buckling beneath the griefs and the fears that and the evil that this world holds.
Words are important.
I think that God’s own emphasis and use of words and language has a direct bearing on why Christianity is such a word-filled and writing-filled realm. Pastor’s “write” sermons, teacher’s “write” studies. Congregants take study notes as they listen to sermons or sit under teaching. We write (and, subsequently, read) to interpret, encourage, exhort, explain, admonish and express.
And, some of us write to process. To ponder.
In fact, I have a very difficult time praying, without writing out the words that pour forth from my soul. Therefore, I will always be drawn to words and writing.
I am grateful for this space and this website in which to place my words. I am grateful for you, dear reader, for reading them – my imperfect, fumbling, raw, too wordy attempts to place onto paper the things in my mind and soul. Thank you for stopping by, for a moment, and gifting me with your time.
And I am grateful for gifted writers, who feed and challenge my soul – Peterson, Piper, Stott, Willard, Keller, Challies, Parnell, Robinson – and, of course, C.S. Lewis.
Most of all, I am grateful for the gift that God has given to us, of words and language, of scripture and truth, of poetry and prophecy and history and wisdom and letters/epistles – and even the boring parts of the book of Numbers.
“History is written by the victors”, according to Sir Winston Churchill. And I believe his words are correct.
And the greatest history ever written points us to the hope and life-giving victory fought, paid-for and won on our behalf ~ the victory of the cross by the one true victor over our shame and guilt – Jesus Christ.