there is an excess of words in Jack’s life. Reminded by a slightly older wise man of that situation. A rabbit trap is meant to snare the rabbit and once it is caught the trap is forgotten. There are fish traps that once filled with fish are forgotten. There are words that lead to the vision of the Lord’s heart and once we touch that real world, the words are forgotten. The wise man wishes to meet the man who has forgotten words. “He is the one I would like to talk to”. a.
We are surrounded by words in this loud world. It is worth our thoughts to put ourselves back a hundred and a half years or so. Travel on ‘roads’ with horse and buggy or wagon headed into a town a short fifty miles away. How many words would it take? Possibly a dozen or so would be seen, perhaps none. Silence of vision with the steady horse sounds and the creaking of wood spokes tuning on metal spindles. Sitting on the bench with reigns held loosely and the large brimmed hat to stave off sunlight. Silence with thoughts abounding with the oneness of life and it’s wonders and work. Talking to God.
Not Buy this, eat this, gamble here, listen to this or come hither and enjoy. Jack’s favorite is a company that buys ugly houses. That one has moved on and replaced the cave man image with a man ready for crucifixion. His arms wide out stating they too, buy houses. Smiling lawyers who are hungry for an injury lawsuit. Next exit Vanity Fair.
We use words to fill in the potholes of our empty thoughts that do not need filling. We talk, learn and teach with so many words that after a bit we wonder about the whole thing. “It’s not important, it’s just words” A lecture in a school of any grade, a presentation at the local library featuring a ‘well known author’ who has many words on their credit account. Just waiting for those words to be redeemed. Jack has had many an internal chuckle as he is asked; “how many books have you written?” A wordsmith indeed. Fresh words, created new words hammered out on the old Smith Corona and dipped with steam into the cooling trough to give them a patina or strength of quenched steel. Hopefully words that turn into visions of the real world that usually is painted, sonnets and concertos performed and sculpture created. Jack had no words when he looked up at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo’s sculpture of David was seen and Jack was glad there were places to sit and gaze upon what was before for him just words in a textbook.
Education in monasteries or seminaries for ministers or pastors used to be the way it was done. Quite a bit of silence and contemplating one’s heart movement being exposed to the palpable presence of the Great I Am. Words can lead a hungry student of faith only so far with the highest ones. The Word itself which is beyond awesome has lost it’s meanings in our world of words. Many discussions, many languages and interpretations of words can lead to …more words. After all, Jesus was called The Word in scripture. Jesus creator of everything that was created was the ultimate Word which needed no additional words.
The best words Jack has found that lead him into silence in the presence of God. ‘Help me’ or ‘heal my heart’ ‘I love you’ nothing fancy or made up complex and awesome sounding words. Jesus’ sermons were mostly short and usually filled with action instructions. Go and do the same. Many times in Jack’s life with five words: “Life or death, choose now” or “Walk, keep your eyes open” “It’s better than you said” Not wordy is the Lord Jesus in Jack’s life so far.
Jack gives the stories behind those words if asked. Those short sentences were all the words Jack has needed to seek the Kingdom of God. They weren’t needing translation or long wordy discussions. Sermons from those words somehow have more impact then a half an hour of pleading with pleasurable and comforting words.
We are weak and overwhelmed with words in our times. We don’t get it when the spoken word leads us to silence. If a minister of the Word asks for a moment of silence we get antsy and cannot wait to talk and think ‘ how long is this going to go on!’ Solitude spoken of as we are pilgrims. One of the desert fathers, Abba Tithoes once said, “to be on a pilgrimage is to be silent” The apostle James stated “Every one of us does something wrong, over and over again; the only man who could reach perfection would be someone who never said anything wrong—he would be able to control every part of himself” Solitude and silence is a gentle and sure path and the safest way to stay away from sin. It’s pretty good. Jack Gator a. Chuang Tzu