This is a disclaimer...not so much for my thoughts, but for the fact that I struggled to get the thoughts out of my head and into type. Maybe a first for me - at a loss for words. Basically...this whole blog boils down to: we need to talk, really talk in real and intimate ways, to get to know one another. That means, we will have to learn to really talk. Someone said to me today: "Do I really know you?" It's made me think...
My kids have a secret language. Maybe secret is not quite the right word. People know about their made-up words. They have special words for orange juice (and apple juice - because these are hot commodities in my house), happy/good; they each have nicknames...there's a whole host of words which escape me. They talk with one another using this language, interspersed with 'normal' verbiage. It all makes sense to them. The funny thing is...it sort-of makes sense to me too. Even their babysitter has picked up on it. But to someone from the outside, it would not make sense at all.
Sometimes their dad says to them, "Remember to use regular words when you're talking to other people." I don't really think he has to say this, because they only use these words around people they know. Actually, not even just around people they know...they use this language around people they feel safe around and love. The language is more of a shared experience between brothers who love each other.
Today I heard a report about relationships that last...how nicknames and inside jokes are good for relationships, because they help bond people. I think this is really true. And...I've been thinking about this in terms of my relationships.
I have many names: Weeze (this is what my dad calls me and how I sign all my letters to him), Chris (this is what my family calls me), Christine (my grown-up friends call me this), Mom (Obviously, my children refer to me as this), ex-wife (my former husband and dear friend), Pastor (people in my congregation)... Now these aren't secret, except maybe Weeze. And...if you really know me, then you know how I got my name Weeze. These are names, which say something about my relationship with these people though. Words that by themselves mean very little, but when experienced in context express almost everything there is to me.
The reason I really am thinking about this though is in terms of theological words. Do we have a 'secret code' of words? And, if we do (which I don't necessarily think is a bad thing) are we using those words to connect us or divide us? My kids will teach anyone their language. Like, when I was learning the word for orange juice (orankdid), I used to always say, 'oink'. They would laugh and remind me. Even that brought us together.
As I think about words we toss around so freely in the church...I am wondering if we know what the words mean...to us each, personally. Really, what's glory? What is it? And...reign, and sacrifice, and Son of God, and resurrection, and salvation, and atonement, and omnipotent, and transcendence, and....See what I mean? I like these words, actually I love them. I like that I don't fully understand them, because no matter how hard I try, I do not and just flat out can't, fully understand God. But, I would like to be in a conversation where we let down our guards and talk about what these words mean. What they really mean. Not what we think they mean, or what we were told in church they mean.
But what do they mean to you? What do they say to you through your life? I'll tell you something about me...I mostly think the glory of God often takes up residence in a shower stall. You'd have to know me really, really well to know why, but it's the truth. And, I don't know if I really think God is all-knowing. There you go. It's better than me nodding my head like I agree. And - a whole host of other things...
If we (either you and I, dear reader OR you and your best friend or mom OR me and a friend - whatever), if we started talking about what our words mean, then I bet our relationships would be a whole lot richer.
We'd have the words to say..."Yes, I need a friend." OR "My life is just in the biggest shambles right now and could you please help me?" OR "The other day when I was praying...I saw the glory of God."
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