I’ve been working on next week’s session of Everyday God, the monthly contemplative prayer class I facilitate at St. Luke’s. The work is still mostly in my head, though some has made it to paper. But with a week to go, it’s time to pour it all out and to distill what’s there.
Yet, in the memory of Mother Mary, I ponder at the fragility of words, what to say and leave unsaid. Following the advice of a trusted friend, I try to rely less on my words and more on creating space for wonder and holy encounter.
Words don’t always write easily. Yet, even when words come they are easily misunderstood. And with misunderstanding, comes the temptation to pile on more words in an attempt to smudge the lines of perceived difference.
Part of the splendor and difficulty in writing is not being able to anticipate how others might interpret the thoughts laying underneath the written word. That particular line of words may send you, the reader, to something or someone or somewhere from your past or present. The words may open up pain. They may bring joy.
That italicized line of words simply took me the old adage that actions speak louder than words. Actions speak louder than words? Maybe. But even in action and inaction, there’s room for interpretation. There’s opportunity for deception, even for the actor.
I cannot control how others perceive my actions or my inactions. In the end, I simply do my best, and trust that all will be well. I do my best and let it go. I live in the mystery of difference and appreciate it for what it is, a opportnity to celebrate, a opporunity to learn, as long as I remain open to the mystery.
In the end, especially in my labor and delivery of any work of words, I rely on faith rather than words, the Word rather than words.