I love words.
It gets me into trouble sometimes. I use ten where I could use one. I’m too honest. I’m a distraction. Since I’ve started writing I’ve worked to discipline my language, to decide what I want to say before I want to say it, and to use only as many words as I need (though I still can’t kick my habit of clogging my paragraphs with lists of three).
For a rambler like myself, topics such as God, faith, hope and love are perfect. We can never complete their definitions, yet sorting through them remains a noble act. Our hearts marvel at their enormity. Words pour out of us as we attempt to hit the mark, and hopefully be included in their grandeur.
Still, from time to time, I realize the impossibility of what I am trying to say and I become paralyzed. What if I try out a new phrase and realize it is not true, or not what I mean? What if the permanence of language makes me a heretic, a hypocrite, or – worst of all – a liar? What if faith and love, rather than being too big not to talk about, are actually too big to risk being wrong about?
And then I remind myself that what I say about God and virtue doesn’t change what is true. How I express the theological virtues doesn’t change that they exist. Yes, words are powerful, and prudence is required to know when and how to use them. Although Truth is too large to capture, we should still aim our words at it. With luck the arrows of language might pierce it open, allowing grace to come pouring out, while bearing on their shafts our hearts that long to complete their trajectory toward Love.