Thursday, September 10, 2009

Say what?

Father, forgive me for I have been silent. It has been almost a month since my last blog post.

It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say. Quite the opposite, really.

Funny thing though. It seems the more I have on my mind, the less I say.

If you’ve ever held a somewhat serious conversation with me face to face then you know what I mean and how that plays out. I have to think long and hard about something before it can ever get past my vocal chords and out of my mouth. That mind-to-mouth-relay delay is the cause of a lot of anxious silence in my conversations. It drives Scott nuts. He can look at me and tell that my mind is working, but my lips are squeezed tightly closed. “Just spit it out,” is often what he says to me when he sees my face in that “I’m-thinking” contortion.

Alas, that has been my dilemma for the last month or so.

I’ve been thinking about my father-in-law and his most recent 10-day visit to our house.

I’ve been thinking about my boss’ upcoming retirement and everything that means for our office.

I’ve been thinking about my dad and his cancer treatment.

I’ve been thinking about my mom along with the joy as well as the difficulties that her upcoming 80th birthday brings.

I’ve been thinking about my sisters who are both completely different from each other and even more so from me, yet still sharing some of the same characteristics and how all that affects the two previous things on this list.

I’ve been thinking about my husband’s continued frustration with his work and purpose.

I’ve been thinking about how I’m still trying to figure out how to manage the loss and the change that resulted from my lifelong love of church being abused by its leadership.

See there. I’ve already said too much. How can I let those things slip out without explaining the depth, detail and meaning of each and every one of them?

So, I remain silent.

The curious thing about all this is that I am a WORD person. Ugh, how I hate the NUMBERS. I prefer word games like crossword puzzles and Jumble and Boggle and Scrabble and Pathwords. Not so much the Yahtzee and…. I can’t ever think of any other numbers games because they are just not fun for me. They are more of a chore.

Oh, and add to the previous list above: I’ve been thinking about reconciling my checkbook but not ever actually doing it.

The hesitation in getting my words out is usually because I’m trying to consider just how the person listening will actually hear what it is that I’m about say. Will they fully understand? Will they hear it like I intend it? Will they really know what I mean? Will they think I am absolutely nuts? Will they think I’m being critical of them personally? Will they hear it in love? How can I say this so they will know exactly where I’m coming from? How can I say everything that I’m thinking in a short, concise, clear manner? How can I be absolutely clear?

It’s the hearer of my words that hangs me up.

Sometimes, no matter how long I hesitate or how much I carefully consider my choice of words, they still get misunderstood.

I guess I can understand a tiny, little bit of what Moses must have felt. He classified himself as slow of speech. Yeah, me too.

Once his bush began to burn, though, that fire led the way for him for the rest of his life.

Even when his audience wasn’t really listening.

God gave Moses his mouth, helped him speak, and taught him what to say.

God gave me my mouth and is teaching me what to say. He will help me.

So, if I ever get to the point where I can immediately respond and speak what’s on my mind in a serious conversation, you can bet that I will have already thought long and hard about the topic before I ever even got involved in the current conversation. I’ll have taken what He’s taught me to heart.

Which is to say, once I finally start talking I probably will say everything single thing that’s on my mind. Without hesitation. Look out. The woods might be on fire.

Moses said to the Lord, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue." The Lord said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." Exodus 4:10-12

1 comment:

Margie said...

These questions RING in my head ALL the TIME!
Will they fully understand? NO
Will they hear it like I intend it? RARELY
Will they really know what I mean? NEVER
Will they think I am absolutely nuts? WELL....
Will they think I’m being critical of them personally?It's Never Personal.
Will they hear it in love? They have no clue what this means.
How can I say this so they will know exactly where I’m coming from? When you figure this out, let me know!
How can I say everything that I’m thinking in a short, concise, clear manner? When you figure this out, let me know.
How can I be absolutely clear? Just say it

The territory between our homes had best be ready: fire is burning at both ends!