I love words. I mean, I really love words. I have always loved them.
I learned to love them in many ways. From the voices of my parents and the books they read to me. In the poetry my grandmother read to me, and the books my family put in front of me over and over.
I loved words in the great hymns of Christianity, and even more in the ancient, profound stories and wisdom literature of the Holy Bible.
I love the beautiful way they sound. Mellifluous.
I love their history, the way that they were shaped and reshaped and rebuilt over thousands, over hundreds of thousands of years. They way they followed us, the way we adapted them as humans moved and changed, built and connected.
I love that we still use about two dozen words from the proto-indo-european language.
When the Bible says ‘in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God,’ I am shaken. When I learned that ‘Word’ or ‘Logos’ could mean ‘organizing principle,’ could be the force and person of creation in representing the Son of God and His act of speaking creation into existence? I was thunderstruck. Gobsmacked. Stunned. Stricken. Impassioned. Word.
Words spoke the universe into existence. Words edify, words spread love, words give truth, words are lovely and empowering.
Alas, words destroy.
I see it all the time. Words have led to so much hurt. Words like ‘I don’t love you,’ or ‘I didn’t want you.’ Words like ‘I don’t want you any longer,’ or ‘why did you have to get pregnant?’
Words, heard in the dark confines of our murky, confused minds. Words people tell themselves (or are told by malevolent forces); words like ‘you’re no good. You’re dirty. You’re bad and stupid. You should die. Go and kill yourself.’ The odd words spoken to us in the second person. Accusatory. You…
Words cut deeply.
I wonder how many of my patients with depression, anxiety, suicidal ideas, homicidal ideas, addiction, chronic pain and other problems are all actually afflicted with words.
All the pills and infusions, xrays and lab tests in the world won’t solve the problem of wounding, hateful, careless words.
I suspect that in the end, only the Word can heal those wounds.
The Word speed the day.