When We Speak by Cal Olson
When We Speak…
Brian Hardin, the kind voice and heart of the Daily Audio Bible, dropped a little something on the May 4, 2016, DAB that has stuck in my head ever since.
So now I attempt to stick it… into your head. You’re welcome.
As Image Bearers, in the image of our Creator God, we make things happen by speaking. Oh, we may not spin light out of darkness or worlds out of nothingness with our voices, but we create.
When we speak, things happen.
All of you who write fiction are now either sitting a little taller in your chairs at your “office” (a.k.a. your coffee shop du jour) and beaming with a few warm fuzzies as you create worlds, or you’re smiling your best all-knowing (and slightly condescending) smile because you already knew this.
Hold up, cubby – we ain’t even nearly sort of done with y’all yet.
We not only create worlds with words, with all the awesomeness that entails…
We also alter people’s reality with words. And that is a double-edged sword. A big double-edged sword. A big honkin’ double-edged sword with a mirror finish, ancient runes etched in the blade, and a really impressive woven handgrip.
Mine also has a purple tassel dangling from it ’cause that’s how I roll.
When we speak, things happen.
With words, we can bust a hole through the walls of the darkest mental prisons, or we can create those prisons in another’s heart and mind.
“Dear Calbert,” I hear muttered from the back of the room, “aren’t you digging a little far here? Perhaps laying the fluffy goodness on a tad thick?”
Nope. That’s why I have them leave off the whip when they make my latte here at my “office.” No extra fluffy here.
Allow me to ask you a question: Are there words from your past that still sting today? Did someone, by speaking, put something into you that hasn’t ever left? Maybe it was a lie, and you rejected it as quickly as it was spoken. Maybe it was a hurtful comment, instantly deleted.
You still recall it, in close-to-perfect detail. Perhaps you still remember the pain, even as you know the effort and energy it took to turn it away and move past it – a part of you that you’ll never get back, used up in the need to keep those harmful words at bay.
Thus, your reality was altered, ever so slightly. A tiny piece of you was used to respond or deflect, and a tiny piece of you still has it all in storage. A lesson learned, a hurt remembered, a situation to avoid in the future, wisdom gained from experience.
Add up enough of them over a lifetime and that’s some pretty powerful creating right there.
Hold on – I said it was a double-edged sword, right?
(Yup. I did say that. Seven or eight paragraphs ago, depending on your definition of what a paragraph is, and on how vicious my proofreader is feeling when she reads this. If you aren’t reading this right now, it was a tough day.)
Here’s the flip side, kids: Did someone ever change your life with the words they spoke? Did the chamber in your mind where you had imprisoned yourself flood with light? Has someone ever spoken and their words set you free? Can you remember it to this day, in perfect detail?
Dear Image Bearer, If you didn’t already know it, you bear a wonderful and terrifying gift from your Creator Father. When you speak, things happen.
Lover of God, Teller of Stories, Player of Whistles, Appreciator of Wonder, Afraid of Spiders.Cal is the Keeper of the Fluffy Goodness at: www.calolson.org