Wednesday, March 24, 2021 11:09 AM
These days of learning for me, as I have been placed into the role of Raphael’s speech language therapist. I have learned about how we develop language, how to encourage more and why we communicate. I have seen first hand the power of a word, the power to feel understood the incredible feeling of finally seeing who this little person who I love so much is. His first words have come at this time, he now knows that Mama brings me ready to help, and Bro brings Nisseem with joy. As he learns to tell us what he desires, hopes for, dreams of, laughs at, cries over, we see him gain power. I have become convinced that one of the biggest lies ever spoken to children is that little easy rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words will never hurt me”. There is no greater falsehood than to imagine that words do not have power to cause great pain, pain that lasts much longer than any physical trauma. Words are power.
I read the story of a mother who, in the interest of understanding her non-verbal child better, spent a week committed to only using his device for speech. She shared her experience of not being able to talk, and the impact it had on her. She had so many things that she wanted to say, but found that getting anyone to wait for her to use a device to say those thing was nearly impossible. She also discovered that while she was working to communicate they began to make assumptions about what she wanted to say, and she was dumbfounded to see how often those assumptions were wrong, even with people who knew her very well. She found herself becoming less inclined to speak at all, and more withdrawn into her own world. It struck me, how often in our silence we leave others in doubt about what we feel, allowing them to draw conclusions that are based on their own interior voices, leaving them assuming that we don’t care. Or how often do we ourselves draw conclusions assuming we know what a person wants to say even before they say it, and don’t bother to listen? How often do we just simply withdraw from the conversation because of so many misunderstandings?
Almost all ancient religions have some kind of custom of making a request, or a curse by writing it down then soaking it in fluid allowing the ink of the words to dissolve and then drinking it to gain the power. The power of the word within. It was also a custom to determine a person’s innocence or guilt in a matter. Putting a word or a spell into clothing or in a persons living space was believed to be a way to bring about whatever that word meant.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us;
and we saw His glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth. John 1:14
This concept stuck into the ear of Muhammad as he developed his own religion, the idea that Jesus was a Word of God was an expression he could not escape. The Quran says that Jesus was a Word and a Spirit from God. This piece of truth can become an amazing foundation to a real conversation with a Muslim. The Muslim world believes in the power of words more than most in the modern day. Since Muhammad eliminated all drawing/carving art forms they began to have art expression through geometric designs and using the calligraphy of the language to become the images. Words become the imagery. This adoration and love of words reflects the peoples traditions of holding onto customs and beliefs by storytelling instead of written text. Books are heavy luggage when you are living a life of mobility.
As I learn to communicate better, develop my own language again, I must set my goal to have words that are full of grace and truth. We cannot sit in silence allowing others to assume what we meant to say but we also must speak in full of grace and truth. I must once again remember the importance of words, how they can decorate my life and bring joy or how they can become symbolic of hate within.
I must remember to communicate the living Word that heals, binds up the broken hearted, comforts those who mourn and is a reality everyday.
Timothy Abraham Ministries