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The Power and Allure of Language

The beginning often matters more than the end. The heart’s purpose means more than the heart’s product, for God can turn any stone into dust, and poverty into plenty. The heart’s intentions are defined in words. For words breed thoughts which beget actions. Words can manufacture misconception and loosen the stones of long-suffering. There is always a signal word at the beginning that shows the hand of the player. Will the heart be content, or does it seek out some darker purpose? It is not the shadow’s job to chase out sunlight, but rather the job of light to obliterate the fear darkness enfolds us in. The pinpricks of light that sally forth at dusk holding over until the sun pokes her sleepy head over the horizon are our nightly promise of the all-encompassing glory that is always present, lest we forget.

At night we find ourselves closer to God in all our childlike fears of what lies beyond our sight, and what creaks deep in the gloom, and what lingers within our own restless conscience. We lay broken and open before Him, trembling and wide-eyed, praying for safety. Yet why do we fear the night? Why do we assume it serves as a barrier? Why do we feel removed somehow as the lights dim and the air cools? Is God not present in the fullness? The night is merely pregnant with the morning; is God not there through every birth pang and wail of anguish that sees us through to a new dawn? Does he not cradle our very heads while we sleep and count the hairs thereupon? Does He not whisper peace to us when we feel our griefs so near we can grasp them with shaking hands? For His comfort far outstrips any lullaby a mother can sing to her child to soothe the aching of the night.

The remorse of the morning brings the knowledge of the night. Be still and glad in the heart’s intentions or flee from the destruction before it has begun. Righteousness lives and dies about the mouth. The lips trip hesitatingly over love but spill the poison of lies unflinchingly. The dismemberment of the Truth comes at a heavy cost. The Usurper renders himself mute in the exchange of Truth for lies. Dissembling doctrines for the price of a penny.

People build up sins like treasures, storing them as though they could take them into the next life as prized and cherished possessions. This cohort will crumble before the Lion’s roar. The dark hour will find them disintegrated. Their bones, too long for this world, will become ashes burnt and long overused, while the flesh sagging and pooling around their feet will fall away leaving only the tarnished soul beneath. And once bare and naked as a child before his father, all Truth will render it blind and useless despite the mere hours of glory it had enjoyed. The uselessness of its treasure will be manifest. The un-sparked soul will be denied, because He will never have known you. Melting flames and scorching ice will be as nothing as the Truth stretches its sleepy arms and awakens once more. The world following the Usurper’s guidance, put it to bed and tucked it into the counterpane of the rolling hills and thunderous oceans. Long has it lain in slumber, awaiting a mighty call to come forth and renew the knowledge once freely granted and now highly protected. A shield has been wrongly constructed before our eyes. We have been kept, like babes in the womb, and shown only glimpses of what ‘could be’. And His Holy Word begins to shatter, to shake, to thunder from the mighty deep until the vibrations destroy the web before us. Each Word culminates and grasps the next and the next until His presence appears and our knees bite the unyielding earth and we touch our faces to find them wet. And all the while our words had been our enemy, as we had only to speak them to be free. The withholding of words was just as much our destruction as the free-flowing river of deception we listened to. The stars shall join in song when the scales fall from our eyes and bodies and we slip away newly made and freshly skinned, cloaked in the glory of the Almighty. The light of a million million stars shining from our own eyes, reflecting the love of a Savior whose lips will brush our brows. We will bow down, Forgiven, Redeemed, Resurrected, Defined. We are only who we truly are in Him. Only his love can define us, only His words give us shape. Only His breath breathe life. Our lungs were still until His words expanded them and filled them with Truth. Is it any wonder that the Truth shall set you free? What freedom is found in the bondage of lies? The fetters of deceit will fall like rain, washing away the stain of their memory, and carry like a flood the sins of a century. The Usurper will ride his wave only to discover he is floating on the river of his own filth and destruction. He will fight and flail as he is carried under, pinned beneath the weight of his own fall. All irony has its birth in words. And words will condemn him in his final moments bent before God.

Vows and promises are more binding than actions. Words gave them power. Words will crumble kingdoms, words will shift alliances, words will summon demons. Words anoint and words appoint. Words enthrone and words imprison. One swift word ends a life, while one can redeem it. Jesus had only to say one word and all would have been changed in Gethsemane. One word is all the Usurper longed to hear Him cry. But the temptation of words did not turn Jesus’ head. Man thinks he is a master of words, but words have authority over man. The name of Jesus is one word and yet the power it contains is to the detriment of hell. Evil flees from this word with such force that the beating of their wings and the clicking of their talons can be heard on a reverberating pitch. For is there not just this one Word that can strike the fear of God into any man? And not a chilling and bitter fear, but a sweet and pure fear like a hot flame that burns our spirits from the inside out. The Bible is the living Word of God. His inspiration is like a fever that comes over you in waves of hot and cold, demanding to be released. The cradle of the night will rock your soul into oblivious sleep. The perils that rage about you will creep close to your heart and threaten your peace. Your hour of waking will seem ever far off and close at once, and all terror will feel more real as it is amplified by the darkness. The sound of silence will oppress you in your weakest moment and your cries to God will seem stifled. Your lowness and baseness will repulse you while it will fill God with pleasure to restore the brilliance to your cheeks and the long lost luster to your eyes. Your heart will beat in tempo to His.

Man’s attraction to words runs deep, have you never wondered at it? A man without words is a man starved and thirsty, withering away with no sustenance. Those phrases that make up our lives turning to dust and rising up in a terrible effigy to destroy him who denies them. A creature of our own design will haunt us, even in the depths of our depravity do we turn once more to words. They fill the void of the chasm we create. We choose our nightly perils and curse the mother who bore us, the father who sheltered us.

Man is arrogant enough to believe he can triumph over His word. That the power of his own can summon up enough strength to thwart the one who spoke it into being. One word can disown a nation.

We cut down the grass when we feel it has grown as much as it shall, before it quite threatens to overwhelm us. So too should we hack down our wayward words and lustful thoughts before they overrun us, before the weeds have outnumbered the green. One wild word can spoil an entire garden. But a good word plucked too soon, taken before it has been nurtured and ripened into a mature thought is just as wretched. Fresh rain, the Word of God will sharpen the colors around us, and make vivid the casual words we bandy about. Phrases whose meaning have been lost in the very telling shall be reawakened till the trees nod their heads and the rivers murmur their assent.

Published in Prose


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