I was looking through some paperwork and found a journal entry from almost four years ago.


When Words Fail

Words are a cornerstone of our lives. We use them and rely on them every day.  Sometimes we use elegant and descriptive words, and other times we use short and harsh ones. Words are used to express and explain. They describe, direct, establish, and comfort. We depend on them as our primary form of communication with everyone around us. The dictionary is filled with more words than one could possibly use in a lifetime; but what happens when words fail us?

Words are empty. They are made of letters and sounds. They are inanimate objects scribbled on paper and carved into stone. They are misspelled,  misused and misinterpreted. Words fail us over and over and over again.

In those times when words fail, what happens next? Sometimes there are deep, deep emotion with no words to describe, explain or convey them.

Today marks one year since our twins went to heaven. A year filled with celebration and tears. A year of relief and a year of loss. I never understood the expression “deep calls out to deep” until I saw those two little boys. On Earth I saw a “mass of tissue”, something many would argue ended there. But in heaven, oh what life I saw! I attempted to describe my emotions and experience with words, but they fall short; words always do.

In criticial and crucial moments we often find ourselves saying things. And that is what those words usually are, just things. As humans we feel the need to reassure, convince, and comfort.

A few months after Steven Curtis Chapman’s young daughter died, his wife said something in an interview that made perfect sense. She said that after they left the hospital they went straight to their parents’ house. They couldn’t go home for weeks. When they finally did they could not handle being alone, but they never had to be. They were surrounded by people who came and just sat at their house. They didn’t talk or try and explain how the situation was going to get better. They didn’t share experience stories or offer words of advice. They were simply there.

I try to be one of those people now. The people who are there, just always there. A person who offers the presence of God to a situation without filling it with words invented by man. There are moments in our lifetime that our hearts replay over and over and over again. Moments of endless joy and moments of deep sorrow. Emotions and experiences are full of substance and depth. Shoving words into it that barely capture a snapshot of the moment cheapens the spiritual impact of it.

And now, here I am again, at a loss for words. The tears are flowing and seem to be endless. My heart is breaking in a way I cannot explain or describe. The waves of grief have been harsh and powerful the last two days. I feel so alone in this ocean, yet my spirit feels an anchor. God’s deep spirit is calling out to the deepest part of mine, whispering over and over. A whisper that has no words. A voice that speaks volumes without any words. And even in the throat-grippingly painful waves of grief where I find myself silent, I know that it is a good place to be. Because even in the silence, God is always speaking of deep things.”