If we could only see a word. Beginning as a bubble somewhere deep inside, filling with meaning, pictures, and referents as it rises to the mind. Floating gently or thrashing turbulently behind the eyes, waiting to be released. Finally, the mouth opens, the fingers twitch. Drawn to the fresh air of freedom, a word is spoken.
If we could only see a word. As drifting up the throat and past the tongue, perfectly round intended form bursts into a thousand pieces. Millions of meanings, numerous nuances. The speaker can only watch it dissipate before his eyes. Countless breaths on the outside swirl and mix the foggy mist of the newly-heard word. Released into the wide world, a word is born.
We are familiar with the life of a word. Pressed out of the fingers and pounded on to an electric slab. It is set at attention, motionlessly and yet silently. It speaks with no voice. It laughs with no smile. It cries with no tear. Although it is drawn with a face, it’s heart and soul remain locked up behind the typeface. Prodded and yet preserved, a word stoically stands still. You read it now, as it dances in your thoughts.
A disposable word, flittering flapping above our head, hovering in our memories. A word that changes and shifts with emotions. A word that may betray definitions and boundaries: both beautiful and ugly; truth and lies. A word like the wind. It cannot be fully captured in meaning, value, and understanding. An unattached word is overwhelmed with meaning and meaninglessness. Every language struggles, every person struggles, every generation struggles to capture the mystery of a word.
But if we could only see a word. The Word before words who was before all worlds. He spoke the very first word. He inhaled the silence and tasted it deeply: a black vacuum; cold flat nothing; a palace of solace for the self-sufficient. Yet, he did not let this quiet dark empty remain. He could have - he should have. It would have been the easier path away from heartbreak. Silence would have preserved the unchangeable, immutable word. But this speaker chose to speak, and a word was breathed out.
“And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light” (Gen 1:3).
The word of the Creator exploded into immediate action. The word that hummed over eternal throat and tongue flashed forth and became visible. Only the Almighty Creator of heavens and earth could cause this word to exist. Only a God of first and last, alpha and omega, could make visible the impossible vocable of creation.
Suddenly, this word was. It was no longer a breath, or an idea, or a wish. The word did not simply hang over hearts and minds. It instead became tangible, a bright reality existed in creation.
Light simply appearing is not the everlasting miracle of creation. A silent word to an unhearing world. It was done, and it is finished. Light had been made by the Almighty Creator when there was no one to see. Imagining the sculptor of a treacherous mountain, iced with tiny flowers, which none have looked upon. Dreaming of the crystal-clear lake slicing smooth boulders that eyes will never behold.
Suddenly, this word was. It was no longer a breath, or an idea, or a wish.
Rather God takes his all-powerful word and names this light for us to hear. He calls it for a purpose that we will understand. In the naming of the day, God provided the word, the thing, with a spoken identity. Now light has time to shine. Light is defined and given for the benefit of the rest of creation. Light is named for the day and the darkness is called the night. And the name is called, it is spoken, it is seen, it is heard.
A word becomes real when it is spoken in name. A verb, noun, conjunction, preposition all swim in a chaotic ocean of sounds until drawn-out, named, and comprehended.
And the Word that becomes flesh is known unlike any other. A Word named son of God makes spoken promises real. A Word that puts on skin and flesh and bones, puts on a name. This Word is called for a purpose. This Word has a spoken identity. This Word has a time and place to affect the creation that surrounds. The eternal Word is named Christ. He is spoken, he is seen, he is heard.
If we could only see a word. We would see a hazy promise born of a virgin. We would see a dream of re-creation responding to his touch. We would see “it is finished” and taste his blood for our benefit. We would see a blessed flood that calls our name.
If we could only see a word, he would be named Savior. If we could only see a word, we would be named forgiven.