I’ve been thinking a lot about communication lately. The year had barely turned when I had a strong word about (and from) ‘Bara’; God’s Hebrew description of Himself as ‘Creator’. In the Arabic, it also means to ‘pare a reed for writing’ (Ha!). Not really surprising, considering I’m quite sure the focus for me this year will be putting pen to paper, so to speak. I’ve got galleys to proof, manuscripts to forge, blogs to create and songs to compose…and that’s only the beginning. January is freshly minted, but I can feel the full weight of a publishing year pressing down on me.
Truthfully, I’ve actually never considered myself a writer. I’m still rolling ‘author’ around in my psyche very tenuously, even with two complete books teed up to go to the publisher! Although I never had any problems with the rudiments of language arts, spelling or grammar, they just never really held much spark for me. I have always loved words, adored poetry, songs, and literature, but never burned to express myself on the written page. Composition assignments usually netted me excellent grades, but, oh, the effort! What a groaner. I loathed it. In fact, I used to pick University electives based on the fewest number of term papers required! So, to be sitting here under the task of a weekly blog is, well, frankly, quite peculiar. Maybe it’s the introvert in me, as I find writing terribly taxing and excruciatingly exposing, but I have no choice. This is where the Captain of the Host is camped right now on my life.
The real story is, that I’m riding the wave of a massive download. You can only go where the anointing is taking you. It’s taking me into Revelations. In no less than four separate locations, Jesus directly describes Himself as ‘Alpha and Omega’ (Revelation 1:8, 11, 21:5, 22:13). It’s the most repeated appellation (other than ‘the Lamb’) for Jesus in the book, and only used in the first person singular by Jesus Himself. This is highly significant. I sense a major anointing on this right now for me. What is He conveying?
Of course, you keen Biblical scholars out there will already know that the symbols conveyed by the words Alpha and Omega (Λ Ω) are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Context is important, so let’s flesh that out a little bit. Jesus supplements this description, adding that He is also “first, and last, beginning and end”. At least one of the concepts I believe He is declaring that the entire substructure of the substance of communication rests on Him. Twice, following His saying “I am Alpha and Omega”, He adjures John ‘Write’ (Rev 1:11, 21:5). There is a direct command, linking the thought of His name to the action of communication.
The ability to communicate is one of many divine gifts to mankind. Without Him, there is no communication on earth. Without this incredible gift from the Lord, the haters couldn’t even express their absolute contempt for Him! How’s that for ironic? Today, the exchange of ideas, messages or talk is absolutely endless. It cobwebs the entire fabric of our existence. Experts estimate that we are bombarded with over 5000 media ads in one day alone. That’s not including the endless barrage of emails, texts, calls or other forms of media we navigate. The human brain is just about unparalleled in its ability to see and process incredible bits of data in one glance, but even this extraordinary system can be overloaded. It’s no wonder we come home at the end of a working day absolutely exhausted, both mentally and physically. Our own capability for communication is slowly killing us.
One of the most powerful things we are individually given is a voice. Whether we use that physically or metaphorically, it is still immensely powerful. In fact, it is so momentous a gift that we are told “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). We’re warned about the power of influence, when James dramatically informs us “the tongue is a little member that boasts great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindles. And the tongue is a fire…” (James 3:5-6). The Lord also taught His disciples the importance of words, saying “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matt 12:36-37). In case you haven’t caught the drift yet, this stuff is heavy. It’s weighty, immediate, and applicable to everyone, indiscriminately.
Consider the shape of your everyday life. What does your communication landscape look like? How much time do you spend on your smart phone? How much of your conversation is direct, first-person immediate, as opposed to texting, or passive participation in Instagram or Facebook posts? In our virtual age, we are drowned in a sea of chat and idiotic altercation. However, when we consider the actual amount of deeply significant contact, as opposed to mere pragmatic exchange or frivolous social piffle, the percentage is shockingly low. Would it really kill us to be vulnerable? Would it cost our ego too much to humbly let down our guard, and speak the truth from our perspective? What are we hiding behind?
What’s in my heart, and what do I have to say? Is it true, honest, just, pure, lovely, reputable, virtuous, or worthy of praise (Phil 4:8)? Does it edify and encourage or suffuse the atmosphere with negativity? Have I shared my real thoughts and authentic feelings with the significant people in my life, or am I selfishly hoarding it for death-bed confessions? How am I using this voice of mine? Can Jesus be heard through it? What legacy will I leave?
I want to be able to say “I believed, therefore, I have spoken” (Psalm 116:10).