Sunday, January 1, 2012

The meaning of words

I grew up knowing that my words matter. Not only did they matter but the meaning behind my words mattered a great deal. My father is an english major who enjoyed nothing more than debating what a word, sentence, or phrase meant both literally and metaphorically. I learned quickly what all those bad words truly meant, (had to copy dictionary lines), I knew that to say I hated meant I wished someone or something dead. I knew that 'may I' and 'can I' were very different phrases with very different definitions and would grant me very different answers.
One of my favorite things about my english major father though is that never did he simply tell us the meaning of a word. It always started with asking us what we thought it meant. Then why did we think that? Could we defend our opinion? I loved the debate because I remember those words still. One year in sunday school he asked a class full of young adults and teenagers what the definition of love was. It took us 5 weeks to come to an agreement and I still remember it to this day a good 15 years later. "love, an unconditional commitment to another persons well being". The other two words I can still tell you without pause are Grace and Mercy.
"Grace, getting something you don't deserve" "Mercy, not getting what you do deserve"
I have decided that everything involved in this move has been an act of Grace, of receiving things I do not deserve. The house on base, the school I wanted the kids in, the car ride that went so smoothly, the visit with inlaws where everyone was instant companions, the safety as we traveled across snowy and icy roads. My parents caring for our children as the hubby and I celebrate our 1o year anniversary and keeping the kids 2 more weeks while we unpack and set up a new home.
I have done nothing that allows me to think I deserve these gifts. I have whined, complained, had sleepless night of doubt and yet I have still been blessed, have still been given Grace. I am so very thankful for a God who is so full of Grace and Mercy and loves me so very much and gives me such incredible if only I would remember this next time we move

If you don't laugh, you'll cry

1 comment:

  1. As an English buff and a freelance writer myself, I love this post! So many people now take their ques from "reality" TV and don't realize that words, once said, whether truly meant or not, can NEVER truly be 'taken back'. We can be forgiven for hurting someone with our words, but once said, they still 'happened'. God's forgiveness is far beyond our capabilities - not that we shouldn't strive for it, but as humans we learn from pain. Even as adults, we're often still like children with a hot stove. Once adequately harmed, we are unlikely to put our all in again without caution. But then again - that is the power of love, grace, and mercy.

    Amen. :) This made my night.