This is another entire “Chapter”, an excerpt from Tales of a Magic Monastery by Theophane the Monk.
It leapt to mind today as I read the magnificent post on “Love” by Don Merritt a little before this one [I’m Not Very Good At Saying “I Love You”].
In part, Don said…
I’m not very good at saying “I love you”, if you don’t believe me, ask my wife!
In my Neanderthal male brain, just saying the words is kind of cheap, almost a way out of actually doing something about love; anybody can say it, but how many put it into practice?
Now, notwithstanding how hard it is for me ever to put the concepts “Don’s brain”, and “Neanderthal” into the same sentence that way… these words just RANG for me as being far more significant in our spiritual lives than might appear at first blush.
Nothing in me “disagrees” with Don in any way. It’s just that from his platform of words, my thoughts just sort of launched a bit further into the ozone.
I’ll not say a lot about all that here… but I was struck with how true Don’s comments are about our “cultural conditioning” on “demonstrativeness” of “love”. Some cultures are very “touchy-feely” about love, or romance. Husbands and wives TOUCH one another, perhaps even in public, casually and easily. Friends may touch one another easily. In other cultures, such behavior is not acceptable.
In some cultures (largely patterned and enforced in families and upbringing).. being verbally affectionate, or even emotionally transparent at all, is considered in good or bad taste. Culture, era, family traditions, even the structure of the language itself… all these things have impact on HOW we express our feelings with and to one another.
So I really enjoyed Don’s post, and thought a lot of different thoughts as I read it. Not gonna bore you with all that. But there was this one “shining thought” that came through… THIS one I want to mention.
“Words”… “Words” are more than lingual articulations setting air in motion, making patterns of sound that are impelled forward until they lose momentum. I don’t know why. I don’t know how. But I DO know… all the way through me… that they are.
“Words”… are “creations”.
“Words”… are magical… mystical… ideas from the praxis of a human consciousness… from a being made in the image of God… endowed with consciousness and soul from before the beginning of time. “Words” come from somewhere within us… (Jesus alludes to them as “brought forth from the good treasure” or “from the heart of man”…) “Words” begin within us, are spoken, and thus released outwards into our four-dimensional space, our expression of God’s Creation… of Reality as we know it.
We “touch”, we “connect”, we “relate”… one with another primarily through our words, though also with touch.
In short… “Words”… are “sacred”.
Somehow, even from youth, I knew this in some way… though now I see it far more clearly.
I believe, all the way through me, that:
- Words are sacred
- The Most Sacred Word is “love”
- The Most Important and Righteous, Godly, Holy Thing that CAN EVER be spoken is… “I Love You”
This statement, “I Love You”, is not only an affirmative admission… something that reaches from me, extending my love to you… But it is also an admission of vulnerability… I can now be hurt, wounded, injured by you or by your rejection. I not only state strength in my love, I admit weakness. I think this admission of vulnerability has a lot to do with reticence in speaking the truth of love.
Bottom Line: Beyond culture, beyond comfort zones, beyond family traditions…
Our Father… The Lord God Almighty… spends every nanosecond of eternity itself speaking forth this phrase in and to the Cosmos…
“I Love You”
And in that utterance, to and through Jesus who upholds all things by the power of HIS word… all of existence, ourselves included… participate in Him.
They do it all with Word… we are fashioned to do the same… It is worth the risk, the fear, the “awkwardness”… to allow ourselves to “speak the Father’s words”, and be vessel for His spirit in Creation.
He is, after all, the “Word”.
And He always leaves us the choice. We can speak. Or remain silent.