Last night at bedtime I saw the stark contrast in my two daughters. We had been snuggling on the couch watching a movie when 8:00 rolled around. Let’s just get this out of the way: 8:00 is sacred. SACRED. Because 8:00 means that my beloved children who bring me such joy but who also talk without stopping for at least thirteen hours straight and say the word MOMMY four hundred billion times a day will now go to a separate room, fall asleep peacefully (yeah right), and allow me to eat my melted-then-frozen-peanut butter-coconut oil-maple syrup-chocolate chip-every single night treat in…get this…silence.
Sacred, get it?
So when the clock struck 8 I got off the couch to turn off the movie. “We’ll finish this one tomorrow, it’s time for bed!” (Can you hear how chipper my voice is getting now that it’s 8:00?) And that’s when I saw the difference, not for the first time.
Claire: “Mom, can we please, please, please just watch five more minutes? I remember what’s about to happen and it will be a great place to stop if we just watch a little more. Actually, I think if we watch just a few more minutes it will be exactly halfway done. It’s really not quite halfway yet. Mom, I promise we will not complain if we can just watch a few more minutes…”…and on…and on…and on…
Honey, I’m sorry but I’m not going to change my answer. It’s time for bed.
AK: “No it’s not.”
And there you have it. The six year old lawyer who argues her case for 10 minutes straight and the 3 year old free spirit who simply denies reality. A pretty accurate picture of these two small characters who live in my house.
I’ve been thinking a lot about words lately. Even from the youngest age, we are ever using our words to try to define our reality, whether it’s through logic or sheer determination. Maybe it’s because we’re made in the image of a Creator who loves to use words.
It started in the beginning, when the universe held its formless and void breath to see just how He was going to do His mighty work. If I didn’t already know the answer, I would have guessed that He would use His hands – maybe wave them or point them or clap them together. But no. He only spoke. Just words. But words that resulted in existence and beauty and light and life.
Now, He did use more than words to create humanity. He used His hands and the dust of the ground and His holy breath. But then He spoke. He spoke over His newest creation words that resulted in blessing and purpose and identity.
And then darkness crept back in, and the first man and woman believed the lie over the truth and the deceiver over the Creator and then they hid. And here came the sound of the Lord walking in the garden and His words – words that resulted in exposure and confession because nothing can be hidden from the eyes of the One who made them all.
And everything seemed hopeless and ruined. And the words came that brought sorrow and grief and justice because the wages of sin must be paid.
There is the Creator with His words, always weaving life and light and beauty and existence because this is who He is. As just as He is merciful, and as gracious as He is holy. And the words came that brought hope. The seed of a promise, hope for redemption and a happy ending.
Maybe that’s why words are so important to us. Maybe they reflect this part of His image, as broken as it might be in our crooked souls. And maybe instead of arguing for a later bedtime, or denying that it is bedtime, or screaming “Everybody go to bed so I can eat my chocolate!!!”, we should recognize something that in our deepest souls, we crave desperately: our Maker’s words of life. May we seek out and meditate on and treasure these words, because this – this is where life is found.
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether. They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.