Friday, February 22, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Henry Nouwen’s words capture me. “Silence is the home of the word.” (The Way of the Heart -p.48) He speaks of living in a society that surrounds us with a constant collage of words. Since Nouwen wrote about billboards and radios, we have added the computer, cell phones, i-pods, email, text-messaging and and and and... ! Marketers of words compete for their words to be brighter, louder, more impacting, to be seen more often, to be more shocking, dynamic, and to be every where. Watch the advertisers of the Super Bowl this afternoon. Modern living now means living in a constant flow of words.
Just listen for the silence! Silence is no longer to be heard. If there is a place for silence, someone is inventing new ways to fill it with their own words. Ask people to be silent. We don’t know what to do with it. It makes us nervous, even mad that someone should suggest there be silence.
Words alone may not be such an evil, but Nouwen points out that too many of them cheapens their use. We say, “They are just words.” Words loose their impact. Religion has become mostly about words. Religion is about telling, teaching, persuading and preaching. So many religious words in books, on TV, radio, in pop Christian music, sermons, magazines, and maybe too many, maybe so many that most everyone says, “They are just words.” No one really listens. No one really hears.
I am one of them. Confession time. I make my living off of religious words, training, speaking, writing, and I sell my words. I do believe in my words, and believe that my words are good words, but recognize that the impact of my words are often just more words. Faith may be less about saying words, and more about listening. Listening to each others hearts, listening in silence, listening in ways that words stop monkeying and mucking up our brains.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” –John 1:1 Out of silence words are born. Out of silence the world was born. Out of silence, away from all other words we born again and again in new ways of knowing the Word.