In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Familiar words, right? We’ve all read those verses a million times. I was pretty sure I’d examined them from every possible perspective. But last time I read them, a new little seed of inspiration was planted that I’ve been keeping an eye on. 😉
I’m a writer (which you obviously know). I love words. I love philosophizing about them. I love making art with them. I love harnessing them to express Truth and Light. And I LOVE when God talks about them–and about their power. Power which John 1:3 states in a way that sheds new light on the nature of those words I so love.
In Genesis, God SPOKE the world into existence. “And God said, ‘Let there be…'” Here in John, Jesus IS that Word through which all things were made. Have those two pieces clicked in your mind before? I can’t believe it took this long for them to click for me, LOL. That our Savior is the thing by which and through which creation happens. And THAT is why John calls him the Word. (To which my husband said, “Well yeah…” proving that I’m definitely late to this epiphany, LOL. But I’m going to keep talking about it anyway.)
So what does that say about the true power of words?
Words are the creative force. It is through words that things happen.
I need to think about that for a minute. I use words for a living–I create a lot with them. Whole worlds, one might argue…but imaginary ones. When it comes to actual building, I guess I always thought that the ACTIONS were the more important thing. The other day my husband and son were building a desk together from some scrap wood (a.k.a. an old bookshelf that had collapsed, LOL), and if you ask me what effected the creation, I’d say “screws, wood, and a screwdriver.”
But do you know what else I noticed while they were building? The words exchanged. This is the first real building project they’ve done together, and I loved hearing the instructions float out to me in the kitchen. “Now this is how you do this…” my husband would say. And, “How do you want this part?”
Then would come my son’s answer. “Yeah, that looks good. Let’s put this piece here…”
A simple exchange between a very earthly father and son who were repurposing something already made. The desk could have been built without those, right?
Maybe…because they are a very earthly, physical, corporeal father and son. The Father and Son, on the other hand, at the brink of our creation…they’re something different. They are, the Bible tells us, Spirit. That’s why it was such a miracle that Jesus wrapped himself in flesh and became one of us.
Pure Spirit doesn’t have hands like we do, or like we’d recognize. Pure Spirit certainly doesn’t have (or need) an electric screwdriver or cheap particle board. Pure Spirit does not interact with this physical world as we physical beings do. How does it?
Let that sink in–I know I am. How did God create? With words. How did God interact with man from the dawn of time through each of the prophets? With words. What did God-Made-Man do when he began his ministry? Teaching and preaching–WORDS. Yes, he healed too. I know he did. And how did he often choose to heal? With words. Sometimes he touched, yes. But did he have to? I’m reminded of what that faithful centurion said in Luke 7:7. “But say the word, and my servant will be healed.“
The fact that God shared these with us–gifted them to us and then exchanged them with us…that’s pretty amazing. More, it’s not only a gift, it’s a responsibility.
He gave us the very tools of creation. And what are we doing with them? How often do we use them to tear each other down instead of build each other up? To complain instead of praise? How often are our words careless, thoughtless, unbridled?
What might change in our lives if we could see what each of our words did, like we can see what God’s words do? We’d see the harm that thoughtless verbal jab really did to our coworker or spouse or child. We’d see what worlds were built in them instead when we instruct or praise or encourage. And I have a feeling what we chose to say would be very different.
Well, my friends, our physical eyes may not be able to see it–but it’s no less real for that. So perhaps our new prayer ought to be, “Lord, open our spiritual eyes, so that we might see the true power of our words…and use them for You.”