Monday, July 11, 2011

Drenched in Words

I'm spending the week in Minnesota as a guest of the Collegeville Institute. As one of twelve incredibly lucky pastors selected to participate in a program called, "The Working Pastor, The Writing Pastor," I am surrounded by words.

We have each brought a project with us that is made from words. We are reading these words and then offering other words in hopes of helping each other to become better writers. We are thinking about words. We are benefitting from a tutor who is helping us with our words. And two other incredibly gifted pastors, Martin Copenhaver and Lillian Daniel, are telling us even more about what to do with our words - how we can use better words.

When we started last night, the director of the institute prayed a prayer in which he asked God to drench us in words.

What a powerful image.

Imagine someone covering you with words. Think about words being on your head and on your chest, on your ankle and on your knee, on your wrist and on your nose. What words would you want to be covered with? Imagine you covering someone else with words. What words would you choose?

Words can be used to build up and words can be used to tear down.
Words can be used to praise and words can be used to criticize.
Words can hurt and words can help.
Words are subtle and words are strong.
Words are powerful things.

If words were covering your body right now, what would they say?
What would others be able to read if you were drenched in words?

We believe Jesus is the Word made flesh who came to dwell amongst us. I am reminded that my words enable others to learn about Jesus - that what I say on Sunday mornings allows someone to better comprehend who Jesus is (or grow more confused!). But perhaps it is the words I use outside of Sunday worship that are most telling - the ones that creep up in my thoughts and pop forth from my mouth when I am stuck in traffic or when someone is annoying me or when my patience is running thin.

Words are powerful things.

God, come and drench me in words. Enable my words to be helpful - not just here and not just on Sunday mornings - but in all times and in all places. Cover me with your words and especially with your Word who dwells with us. Amen.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

I am coming late to this post. While searching for an image, I stumbled over here and began reading. This post in particular resonated as the prayer prayed seems to be the experience I'm having at the moment. Was I within the fallout zone for the prayer's answer? :-)

Enjoyed reading here. Am adding you to my Google Reader.