Postaday 1: FINITE

This may be my downfall, but here goes.

Starting today, September 7, 2017, I’m going to try to keep up with WordPress’s “The Daily Post” prompts. Every morning, a new one-word prompt will appear and bend me to its will.

Wait, that’s not the spirit, Ellie! Bend the word to your liking! That’s the wonder of human language, you know. We are built with an incredible capacity.

With language I can indicate reality: I’m coming. The fire is dangerous. The baby’s crying.

With language I can express myself: I’m afraid. I can’t wait. I love you.

With language I can discuss: I don’t see it that way. I don’t understand. I’m saying that…

Because I have language I can ask for help. I can encourage. I can learn. I can say thank you. I can make up nicknames. I can record my thoughts for later.

And yet, although I can communicate in so many ways, language is limited. It can do only so much. Words cannot capture all truth. Words cannot change all realities. Words cannot heal all wounds. Words cannot, really, last forever. At least, human words can’t.

Linguistic creativity may be (marvelously) infinite, but human language is essentially finite.

We make mistakes, lie, misspeak, hedge the truth, change our minds, revise, and are utterly incapable of expressing certain experiences. And when it comes down to it, our words are only words. They can’t make a permanent, irreversible change.

But God’s words can. 

His words exploded into time and matter and life.

His words teach us who He is.

His words show us we deserve Hell.

His words promised a Savior.

His words tell us who the Savior is.

His words change the hearts of His children. His words alone, through the Holy Spirit, give us new life, transform us into Christlikness, and guide us as a lamp on the way.

He said, “It is finished,” and it was.

Through language, He gives us the greatest, most undeserved privilege of all: after saving us, He even brings us into intimate familiarity with Him. We can know Him through studying the Bible (listening to God) and through prayer (talking to God).

Language is a finite gift, but it lets us humbly approach the infinite One, and beg to know Him more.

 

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