Many Ways to Articulate
Though this series of posts has been about the importance of using words to help you feel your feelings, I actually don’t think this idea of articulation is limited to words in the strictest sense. ART of many kinds is one of the most beautiful ways to give voice to emotion. There is a reason why “A-R-T” are the first three letters of the word “articulation”. I’m not just being cheesy here: The words are actually etymologically linked. (For word nerds: Go here and here and note the connection having to do with joints and joining together.)
So when you have a feeling, maybe your way of “using your words” is to paint a picture. Maybe you pick up a guitar and find the chords and melody that match what you’re feeling. Maybe you write a story, do some gardening, or make a craft. Heck, maybe you put on a favorite movie (which is art), and adopt the words of your favorite character as your own. All of these are creative ways of “articulating” what is happening inside of you: Giving it shape, and placing it out into the world in a way that shapes creation, like a spiritual sword that cuts through darkness and leaves a trail of light in its path. Less Tohu Bohu! More Shalom!
One last nugget…
Since these posts have been about words, and since I’m a bit of a word nerd (one of my favorite sites is the Online Etymology Dictionary), here’s one last piece of Biblical knowledge about the significance of words for you:
Most of you have heard of Scripture being called “The Word of God”.
Maybe you’re also familiar with The Word of God being referred to as “The sword of the Spirit” (Eph. 6:17), or “sharper than any double-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12).
A sword is a weapon with which one fights epic battles. It can be used for good or evil; but at its best, it is a destroyer of darkness and stands as defender of all that is good. And your mouth is your God-given sword, a weapon that you are called to use to do battle for all that is good.
This is why the word of God is likened to a sword! And this is why, in Revelation, when Jesus shows up on his white horse, his eyes blazing like fire and his robe dipped in blood, his weapon is a sharp sword not in his hand, but coming out of his mouth! (I always thought that made for a really weird picture – a sword coming out of his mouth?!?! – until I understood the link between these words.) Jesus’ words are the all-powerful weapon he will use to vanquish evil on that last day.
For now, I challenge you to take up your sword – that one in your mouth – and use it to do battle against all that is evil and broken in this world.