I pray I am never so shallow that I pretend to be deep by saying all the right things so the water is never rippled revealing the truth.
I tweeted those words and pinned them to the top of my Twitter profile a couple of weeks ago. One of my sisters commented on the tweet this morning and as a result, I started thinking all over again about what I meant by my own words. Twitter is not a good place for explaining matters, so I am going to blog my thoughts instead.
I’m a firm believer in being careful with my words. Words are important to me because they enable me to communicate, to teach, to comfort, to inspire, to explain, and yes, at times to protest, to confront and to disagree.
I believe that gentle words turn away wrath. I believe that the right words in due season can save the day and turn a situation around. I believe that words are powerful, meaningful and impacting. They can be instructive, destructive and constructive. I know we must be careful with our words.
I also know that words can be empty, they can be false and they can be manipulative. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference. Sometimes it is difficult to determine between right words and wrong words especially when they’re delivered with a soothing tone and by a gifted speaker.
What concerns me is this. If we focus too much on having exactly the right words in an attempt to cause no disturbance, we may be shallow while pretending to be deep. We may be overly cautious and in our effort to cause no ripples, we may keep the truth hidden. It is an illusion.
It indicates a depth that doesn’t exist. It declares that we understand what we do not. It shouts that we relate when we can not. It resonates that we can all just agree to disagree as long as we don’t admit there is an absolute truth hidden away in the true deep places.
So, I am challenging myself to never be so shallow that I pretend to be deep. It’s okay to cause a few ripples, to take a stand, to speak out and speak up when our deepest held convictions are being compromised. I am challenging myself to consider my words carefully and yet not to walk or talk in fear.
Maybe just maybe, if we disturb the tranquil waters, people may see for themselves what we’ve been so careful to conceal, the truth.