I’ve been writing notes for people I’ve never met in person. In fact, I don’t even know who will receive each note I pen. They are to be given out at random as part of a project I’ve been asked to participate in. It’s impossible to assign me such a task and expect my mind not to wander around the entire subject; to pull from it every realization I can muster and to spend every moment contemplating each detail.
Have you ever known those days when you’re not exactly happy, but you’re not exactly sad, and your mind is magnificently busy mulling over the very grit of life? I have a love for those days, because in their strange, uncomfortable nature I find meanings I had before passed over and thoughts worth repeating. Those days feel like sustenance to my writer’s heart. Today is one of those days.
Today my heart has been intensely aware of words. Words are mighty things, able to carry the world’s weight and also able to be totally empty. Words are like fire; they can warm the heart and soul, provide comfort in the dead of life’s winters, draw people together, and guide those lost in darkness, or they can quickly destroy the most delicate treasures, burn the soul like nothing else, and bring a well made structure to the ground. (James 3:10)
As I pen each note and pray, I wonder what impact the note will have. I am seeking to build up and strengthen each person receiving a note, but there’s a fear in my heart that the words I’m writing won’t mean anything. That they’ll be read and discarded because they lack relevance or importance. In all of this I’m brought face to face with my own lack of control here. I can write the words. I can mail the notes. But those words won’t reach the right hands by any doing of my own. Even the words I share are simply repeating the words already given us by God. Whether quoted or not, they all flow from an understanding of God’s Word.
Only in my imagination can I see the possibilities ahead. My mind is full of curiosity to know what events will bring each person to opening the note I’ve written, given to them at random. And so I’m learning, with each note, to let go and trust God.
I cannot know the inner workings of the heart that will read my scribbles, but God does. I don’t know where they’re at in life or what they’re struggling with, but God does. I don’t even know exactly why I’m writing what I am, but God does. As I share bits from His Word and thoughts from my walk with Him I am assured in my heart that He will work to bring those words to the right heart at the right time. And my ignorance in this lends more power to the words being shared – more power to the God guiding them.
You see, words are powerful indeed, but no words are as powerful as those guided by God. I can string together my words in a profound way, but unless God speaks through them they’ll simply get lost in the crowd. Everyone has words. Everyone shares words. And nothing we say has not been said before by someone, somewhere, in some way.
So in the end, even if they’re my words, the glory belongs to God. Because not only did He bring me to a place to be able to write those words, but He’s also bringing the reader to the place they need to be to read them. And this carries from these notes all the way to this blog and everywhere in between. It is true of the many conversations I have day in and day out. And as I strive to be real and open in my life, to be true with my words and use them to build up and encourage, I am consistently made aware of my own inability to maintain complete control.
Part of sharing my heart and sharing my words is being vulnerable; it’s stepping forward without knowing the response. I have learned to step out in my times of weakness and speak; to speak from the valley’s as well as the hilltops. And I have found that an honest cry from the valley speaks volumes more than a comfortable address from the hilltop. Honesty speaks volumes, sometimes in a brutal way; it has a profound ring to it that says to the heart, “Hey, look at this. This is real. This is true. This person is human. They live. They cry. They break. They rejoice. They laugh.”
And so you step out. You share all that is in your heart and your mind and you wait, hoping for the best and dreading the worst. That’s what I’ve been doing anyway. And I’ve seen my words merit powerful results. The impact of my words has astounded me at times and produced blessings more abundant than I ever expected. Because of me? No. Because God is speaking through them; He’s speaking through me. He’s redeeming my messes, making beauty from my pain, and using my life to impact the lives of others.
So might I change the world with my words? Not on my own. But God can change the world with my words. I pray He will. And the glory will be His, because I am so limited and He is so powerful.
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” -Ephesians 3:20-21