Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ms. Storyteller

This past week several things have happened to cause me to reflect on the power of words. The power to build up and the power to destroy. The old children's ditty of "sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me" is sadly, not true.
In this age of technology, we can't seem to escape from words. They are everywhere, seeping into our souls. I have chosen to eliminate as many extra words as I can by seeking periods of silence when I can. But what about the good words? What about those words that can build you up, instruct and encourage? Those are the words I long to hear, and to be a speaker of. And that is my goal and quest. In this contemplation process of mine I remembered a little figurine that a bought a few years ago while in New Mexico. It touched my heart to see the figure of a woman speaking with children clinging to her. It is a very popular tourist artifact symbolizing the Native American storyteller, particularly the elder women. The Native American Storyteller told stories that were handed down from generation to generation. They were stories involving lessons, instructions, descriptions of the natural processes, survival and symbolism. The power of words for continuity of culture, generation to generation.

In the Old Testament, in Deuteronomy 4:1 - it states that the children of Israel needed to obey the decrees and laws that God was going to teach them so that they may live and may go into the land that they had journeyed so long to take possession of. Then, in Deuteronomy 4:9 it is written: "Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. TEACH THEM TO YOUR CHILDREN AND TO THEIR CHILDREN AFTER THEM".

I can not just simply seek my own personal solitude.

It is apparent to me that the purpose we have as women in our families, and in our world, is to speak with the words of grace and life to those who are in our circle, to build up and to not cast down. To encourage and teach. And to bring about a better generation, having been better in part from hearing the wise words that we have sown in their lives.

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