I am a writer. Most of my days are spent at my writing desk or computer searching for the right words to convey a thought, communicate a concept, evoke a feeling, promote understanding, tell a story, share my heart.
It is joy to me when I find those words – either with my own pen and keystrokes or those of other writers.
In my Instagram friend Rose’s Monday post she began with a quote by Rumi – “The wound is where the light enters you” - then shared that the Latin root of the word ‘vulnerable’ is “to wound.” Those things, along with her thoughtful words about them, broadened my vision of walking the “valley of the shadow,” allowing me to see beyond the pain. (You can find Rose on Instagram here.)
I was captivated by the last few lines of my fellow Bookwifery author Becky’s poem Moving Beyond.
“leaving behind enough to follow more closely
moving beyond enough to participate in Your healing vocation
freeing me enough”
Her words spoke grace and hope, reminding me that while there are always things I need to do, tend, let go of, I don’t have to do it all, all at once. (Read the poem in its entirety on Becky’s website here. You can find info on Bookwifery here.)
My friend and fellow Writers 4 All Seasons member Joanne is a poet whose writing cuts to the very heart of things – even the most common and everyday – exposing depths and nuances I never knew existed, allowing me to make connections I wouldn’t have found without her words. (Three of Joanne’s poems were recently published in the anthology Sea Glass Hearts.)
But finding the right words is not just for the writers among us.
What we say, how we say it, and how (or whether) we hear it matters for all of us: ourselves, and everyone around us.
Grief taught me the necessity of paying attention not only to what I’m thinking and how I feel, but also what is behind those thoughts and emotions and how I articulate them. If my thoughts and words are conceived and birthed in negativity, that spills over onto everything and everyone around me, and casts shadows on what I hear and how I perceive it.
Words – the ones we use and the ones we hear, as well as where those words come from - must be chosen and tended with care.
I’m praying we all find the right words.
Help Us Find the Words
Help us find the words, Holy One.
Words of grace, not accusation.
Words of acceptance, not rejection.
Words with space enough to hold more than one point of view.
Help us find the words that convey our hurt
without inflicting more pain.
Words that speak of need and desire
Help us find the words to address our anger
without inflaming or laying blame,
words that communicate our thoughts
without discounting others.
Help us find words that open the door to dialogue,
and keep us from slamming that door by insisting on the last word.
Help us find words that articulate our differences
with respect, not condemnation.
Help us find words that will draw the circle wide,
with room for all.
Words that speak peace,
offer hope, share love.
Help us find the words – and the courage –
to speak truth to power when necessary,
to honestly name what is there
without hypocrisy or prejudice.
And hold our tongues when our words
would only harm or destroy.
“May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
find favor in your heart, O Lord,
my Rock and my Redeemer, my strength and my joy!”
Psalm 19:14, NIV, Psalms for Praying
When you need to find a “good word,” Dear Reader, where do you turn?
Are there quotes, poems, scriptures, or songs that offer affirmation, give you hope, inspire you, lift you up, speak peace to your soul? Words that are life and breath to you?
What words are on your heart this day? What do you most need to say, and how will you say it?