The Worth of a Word

I’m half-way through teaching a two-week three-credit graduate class on the book of Daniel – that’s twenty hours a week of teaching graduate level material (a typical full-load week is nine hours of teaching). You’d think I’d have a head overflowing with Daniel and be able to whip off a week’s worth of blog entries. Instead, I’m mostly numb and need the rest of my Sabbath to rest before facing the brain-bending brutality of Daniel’s apocalyptic literature (chs. 7–12).

But “they” say bloggers are supposed to write regularly or else people will stop stopping by. Okay. I don’t want you to stop stopping by, but I don’t have it in me to write today. However, I can recycle. I wrote this many years ago and it fits the theme of my blog – for love of the word:

The Worth of a Word

With $10,000 riding on the wheel and another $18,000 waiting in the jackpot, the confident contestant was ready to solve the puzzle. The nearly-completed sentence read,  “__a__   I have this dance?” America’s Wheel of Fortune addicts held their breath while, with escalating excitement, the man of the hour gave Pat his answer: “Can I have this dance?”

English teachers everywhere groaned. A $28,000 grammatical error. A single word that was worth a fortune. Fortunately, grammar mistakes aren’t usually so costly. (Although those of us who make a partial living extolling the virtues of correct grammar wish we could make that kind of money for using the language properly.)

I’m a little crazy about language. A well-turned phrase tickles my tongue. Double meanings make me grin. The nuances of language are an endless source of delight for me. Even with thousands of words at my disposal, though, sometimes it’s a struggle to find the right ones. Creating a vehicle for the expression of deepest thoughts and feelings can be like groping through a dark room for the light switch. Then when I do find the right words, I choose to take a risk by subjecting the intensely personal workings of heart and mind to public scrutiny. That can be painful and sometimes even dangerous. But I do it. I willingly enter the struggle for clear communication, and I voluntarily take the risks that come along with it because words are the dominant means by which I communicate who and what I am. My words reflect the real me.

With infinity at His fingertips, the omnipotent God chose to communicate the “real Him” through words. The unfathomable God of eternity spoke a language I could understand. More specifically, God confined Himself to a single word, embodying all that He is in that Word. The Word, Jesus. The Incarnate Son of God was a perfect reflection of God, a divine vehicle for the expression of God’s deepest thoughts and feelings.

Talk about a single word being worth a fortune. It cost God far more than $28,000 to offer that Word. He paid a price I will never comprehend, yet it’s that very price that makes the same Word a priceless inheritance to me, too. Jesus is worth it all — the riches of heaven, fulfillment on earth, and peace in my heart. He’s the Word worth repeating.

“And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14.

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About wendywidder

For LOVE of the WORD
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2 Responses to The Worth of a Word

  1. jeffrey askanazi says:

    Sorry but I need to revise your “wording”, no pun intended. The Word was the Torah, it is embodied in the Man, i.e. “the Word made flesh”. Jesus is the embodiment of Gods Word, the Torah (I was going to wait till after 4 pm in case you thought this a bit heretical 🙂 but by then I’d have forgotten it.

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