I think speech is taken for granted.

I am fascinated and slightly infatuated with words in general. All the things about the English language that irritate other people, borrowing, manipulating, rules that don’t always hold true, all those complexities are part of what I love. I am thrilled by the way words go together, the fact that multiple words can mean similar things, and that sometimes the same word means different things to different people.

But in this case, I am talking about speech in general.

Our ability to talk to one another is a reminder to me that God is awesome. The fact that I can move my tongue a tiny bit and change the sound I’m making without even really having to think about it, is amazing. That my small, delicate vocal folds play such a large part in our conversations, that your brain takes the sounds that I make and strings them together into actual words, and that you can then return to me your own collection of sounds as an answer is nothing short of amazing. I wish I could more eloquently explain how excited I get when I really think about how cool it is every time I talk to someone, how much intricacy goes into every interaction I have.

Yet, I waste words and I keep inappropriately quiet. I say things I don’t mean and I don’t say things I ought to. I am not intentional enough in my speech, sometimes it’s as though I start talking and then I’m watching myself from somewhere else as words just keep pouring out with no common sense to stop the stream. Sometimes, I use my speech to tear down and inflict wounds. Often I am careless and unthinking.

None of this is really a problem if I think of my speech as an everyday thing, just part of the package deal that is being a human. Perhaps intentional speech comes from thinking of this mode of communication as a daily example of the existence of the miraculous.

James 3:5
Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.

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