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9:46 AM   [15 Aug 2011 | Monday]

Letters to Jesus (Silence and Words) - 13

                                                                         13.

Dear Jesus,
 
   I’ve written a lot to You about “words.” Their benefits and liabilities are unavoidable. They form the river of consciousness upon which we navigate life. They become so common to us, so taken-for-granted, and so heedless sometimes that we become very adept at filtering out what we are tired of hearing or reading and only perk up when our attention is caught by what we deem important. Yet, in this regard, it strikes me that it is better to have a heart without words than words without heart.
   I am of the opinion that very often the words a person speaks are not an accurate reflection of the heart within that person. I have known my share of rough, tough, gruff, trash-talking loudmouths with hearts willing to give the shirts off their backs at the drop of a hat.
   When we look at someone else it’s important that we see beyond what they say, for what they say often masks who they are. To see You in them it is necessary to sweep their words aside. And it is the same for when they look at me. I’d prefer to not be judged by my words but by my heart. I think this is the way You look at us. You see past the know-it-all preaching. You see past the words of heedless prayer. You see past the dire words of despair and disappointment, or even past the words of hope and consolation. You see past the words of anger and revenge; and past the words of praise and love. You see past all these and more because words are often just a veneer for what is truly within our hearts – and that’s the place You look.
   There’s no doubt that we are formed very much by words, yet it is not the words but what is formed by the words that really matters. We fool ourselves with our words. We would like to believe that what we say or write is what characterizes us; but it isn’t. Both with ourselves and with others we must look beyond our words more deeply into our hearts. Do the words we say or write really reflect our hearts or do we use words to paint a desirable picture of ourselves?



 

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