I'm a word person.
I enjoy learning new words and inserting them into my daily life.
I teach a creative writing class to a group of home school kids, and I truly love reading the words they put into their papers for extra credit.
Lately, I've had this one word circling around in my heart. It keeps coming back to the surface, and playing like a recording in my head...and then it will get quiet, lost in the commotion and cacophony of my every day life...and then, it will spring back to my mind again, begging to be thought on.
And because I'm such a word person, when a single word won't leave me alone, I know it's the voice of the Lord. He, being so clever, knows exactly how I am (duh, He is my Creator) and speaks to me exactly the way I need to hear Him.
And so I've been pondering this word, knowing it is coming from Him, and just waiting, marinating, wondering what He is trying to say to me.
It's been almost two weeks, and the word remains in my spirit. I've spent a lot of time letting it roll around inside me, and listening for the whispers of what He is saying.
And now, I feel pressed, by that same Spirit, to write the word down, and to try and put a voice to all the echoes it is making in my heart. Maybe as I put words down, this one will start to take root.
It isn't a new word.
You've heard it before.
I've spoken it dozens of times.
I'm sure it's even been said to you by the Lord, the same way He's been saying it to me for the last 13 days.
But...try something for me...
Try and keep yourself from hearing it the way you've heard it before.
Approach this word as if it's new to your vocabulary, because that's how I feel like He is asking me to see it. There's something new here. Let's stop and see if we can find it.
I do a lot of things in my life faithfully. I make coffee every morning, without fail. I put on deodorant. I brush my teeth. I bite my fingernails. I snort when I laugh. I make inappropriate remarks. I talk about poop at the dinner table. I am faithful in these things.
Reading my Bible, feeding my kids breakfast, exercising, talking to people on the phone, dusting, cleaning my shower...I don't do them with a regularity that earns confidence. I am not faithful in these things.
I am faithful in my desire to be a good friend, but I am not always faithful in carrying out my desire.
I am faithful in my longing to be a good wife and mother, but I am often a failure in my execution of it.
Over and over I prove that if there is one thing I am faithful to do, its fall short of being faithful.
As the word pings around inside me, I am constantly reminded of my inability to master it, and I have cried, and I have thrown up my hands in frustration, and I have sighed in despair, and I have grumbled at the unfairness of this one word that won't leave me alone and constantly sheds light on my faults.
And each time I think I want to fill my head with as many other words as possible in an attempt to drown out this one that won't be silent, and each time I cry and ask the Lord to forgive my failures, and each time I stomp my foot and say "Just tell me what You are trying to tell me. I can't take this anymore..." Every time, it comes again...
It echoes, it resonates, it moves through me like a tidal wave.
It's Him. It's His voice, His presence, His strength, His Word, His character, His love.
Over and over He resounds in my soul.
I forget. And He is faithful.
I fail. And He is faithful.
I am ashamed. He is faithful.
I am angry. He is faithful.
I am afraid. He is faithful.
He SEES all the times I am faithless.
AND. HE. IS. STILL. FAITHFUL.
And now I am breathless, as a sound joins the word.
Its the sound of a hammer.
It's striking metal.
The metal is piercing flesh and wood.
Blood is flowing down.
The pain is unbearable.
And each strike echoes across the landscape.
It sounds like a word.
And each strike pounds through me.
And the blood flows over me.
And the fear is no match for the sound.
And the shame is not able to stand against the flow.
And anything I could ever do or think or feel or say cannot measure up to the hammer striking metal and resonating through all of time and space.
"The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us..." (John 1:14)
Faithfulness became flesh. And He fills my heart with who He is. Over and over. One word. The only thing I need Him to say.
"I will proclaim it to the world. I will declare it to my heart. I'll sing it when the sun is shining. I will scream it in the dark. YOU ARE FAITHFUL." (lyrics from "Faithful" by Steven Curtis Chapman.)