Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Preach. Use Words Only When Necessary.

Taylor can't talk. Well, he can sort of talk, but not really. Taylor can not read. He can barely write his name. But Taylor can communicate and he hears you loud and clear when you communicate with him. He just doesn't use many words.
So short lesson here: There are 450,000 words in the UN-abridged dictionary. Shakespeare used 60,000 words. Most 25 year olds (Taylor's age) have about 15,000 in their back pockets. Man! That's a lot of talking we could be doing. A lot of hot air. A lot of truths and not-so-truths.
There is a church down the street from us. It's one of those churches where the young people ride bicycles and go door-to-door. (They are very nice to us and let us ride bikes in their parking lot.) But often, they will stop Taylor and me and ask, "Do you mind if we share the Gospel with you? May we witness to you?" My response is always this, "Of course you may. Just don't use any words. Tell me anything about what you believe but do not use words. We're right here for you. You may begin."
You know, here's something to think about. We never really ever need to tell people what we believe. If we could hang around each other for three days, we would be able to tell each other what we see; our (unspoken) beliefs would come shining through. It would be completely obvious. We should be living it---out loud. We are doomed if we have to add subtitles to all of our actions. (I am attending my own lecture here, you can count on it. Holy Cow!! This is so jarring to know---and then admit!)
Taylor speaks through soft touches, easy embraces, direct and open eye contact, and always always with an open heart. His language is one of few words but of total acceptance---of you...of me. How do we--yes, you and yes, me -- speak compassionate acceptance for each other without saying one word? Preach what you believe. Use words only when necessary. Will it be obvious to the rest of us what it is that you believe? No subtitles allowed; take them out. Most of us white-knuckle our way through life protecting what we claim we believe. Silently and arrogantly we almost dare others to question the very actions they witness in us. Sometimes what others see from us just does not line up with what's coming out of our mouths. For example, I would tell you that I believe in helping "the poor." But, am I willing to forego a new kitchen floor, getting my hair colored and cut, buying yet another pair of shoes I'll never wear, or sacrificing those 1500 thread count egyptian cotton sheets? Please look away. I don't think my words match my beliefs. How about you? What is your life's sermon saying? Will we be able to see it? The sound is now muted. Preach.


  1. I have gotten at least 10 emails today from some of you totally frustrated about how to comment---and for it to "take." KHH, was our first official blog cuss-er due to problems posting a comment Thank you, KHH. You are the best!
    I have asked my brilliant sister, Deanie, to post a comment with Steps 1-2-3 on successful comment posting. Please stay tuned. In the meantime, I cannot tell you enough how touched and encouraged I am by your emails and FB messages.
    And, too, even when and if we get this sorted out, please don't feel pressured to comment. It's hard to be so public. I am learning that even now. Thank you, faithful readers.

  2. I know my sister thinks i am a wizard at computers but this blog has frustrated me at times also. You MUST have one of the following types of accounts to comment on this blog page: Google account, twitter, yahoo, aim, netlog or openid. If you don't have one of these accounts they suggest you create a Google account. When i make a comment, i usually go to preview first, then post comment and you have to choose your account type.

  3. How many people with high numbers on some IQ test did it take for the PhD to figure this out. AND yet those of us with big numbers who don't know how to measure the heart, the soul and the compassion of Taylor and people who also engage the world as he does feel that those numbers define us as "bright!" Also, let me respond to the blog today.........I wish I had written it. I know exactly where you are coming from. I wrestle with the same emotions you expressed. Well how could we NOT? Look where we've been (theologically), where we came from (the pews), or crawled out from under in my case.

  4. Lord help us all if KHH and MMC ever get together and go on the circut! There would be no dry eyes, dry pants or untwisted souls in the universe. And common sense would rule the day. Let me know if you girls want a driver and a manager of coffee!


Thank you so much for your comments. I know it's scary to put yourself out there. I really appreciate your being on this journey with me. You really are brave..