A River of Words

ImageIt seems to me there are a lot of words floating around that bring negativity these days. The political and economic climate is affecting everything else, and the words spoken are an indicator of where things stand. What I mean by that is that the words we speak can lift up or tear down.  They can encourage or deflate, envision or depress.  The news, the radio, the social media…everywhere really…there is discouragement flowing like a river at flood stage that destroys everything in its path…a river of words.

If you are not careful this river sucks you under and tries to choke the life-breath from your lungs.  This force is one to be reckoned with, because its power does not give an inch and so the words pummel and bruise as they roll along gaining momentum.  It seems as if they render us powerless.  The force of the fear that flows from them strikes our mouths mute.  The passionate fire is quenched as our hearts succumb to the numbing required to survive the current.  The goal is to keep our heads above the water and to try not to allow our lungs to fill with its poison.  We instinctively know that if our lungs fill with this filth we will become one with the flow, breathing out the fowl torrent which saturates us.

Once, we had a choice to enter the stream or not, before the floods came.  That is no longer the case.  We are in.  All in.  In an effort to maintain some sense of dignity we first tried to float down on the water of words…stay above it and ride it out.  “Surely, the water will recede, “we said.  Soon we were thrown from our rafts and our attempt to maintain equilibrium failed. Floating was no longer an option, and we tried to swim, but the current was too strong and so we surrendered to the rough ride through the torrent being banged up and crushed along the way.  Holding our breath, sputtering and gasping for clean air at opportune moments…grasping at others floating by as if they held the key to survival.  We did not understand that we are on our own in this river.  There is no one coming to the rescue.  It is survival of the fittest…from the top down.  We trusted in the wrong things.  Our security was based on the fact our feet were planted firmly on the ground.  Before we were thrown into the flood waters, our confidence was strong.  Our place in the world sure.  Our vision complete.  Now instead we roll and tumble moving ever faster towards some unknown place, at a pace that feels as if falls are just up ahead.

There are others in the river clutching, reaching, and pulling their fellow travelers.  In an effort to save themselves, they push everyone within reach under the current.  They think of it only a moment and then they move along, heads above the water from the temporary lifting force of pushing others under.  A means to an end they say. It is the only way they say…the only way to make it through this horrific flow.  But they are wrong.


It is not the only way, because in this river there is a rock…a boulder.  It is in the center of the tumultuous flow. It stands unmoved by the powerful water of words.  It is the truth.  In the river around the base of the boulder are masses of people.  They chip off small pieces of the truth as if by possessing a small part they possess the whole.  Still others throw their pieces at those around them, trying to dislodge them to make more room for themselves not realizing there is plenty of room for everyone. Then there are the ones who cling by their fingernails, desperate just to hold on.  They know they have little strength for battles with rocks or words.  They are just grateful, after their journey in the water, to be holding onto something solid which will not move. They pull themselves into a cleft in the rock and wait for the water to recede.  They are aware that this is not their truth, or mine, or yours… it is THE truth.  It is not red, or blue.  It is not black or white. No one person or group of people owns the whole truth. It stands alone. It simply IS.  It cannot be moved.  It does not need to be defended, because it proves itself.  It stands firm on its own.  It makes itself known always, no matter the half-truths, the bending of the truth, or just out and out lies.  This rock does not allow the truth to remain hidden, it reveals. It towers over the flood waters.  It does not strive, or rush around in a tizzy, it holds firm.  Over time all becomes clear, and falsehood is exposed.  Amidst the bubbling, frothing river of words, those who are hidden in the cleft of the rock will find solace. Those who wrap their arms around it will find life, despite the words of death that are flowing all around them, because…the truth never fails.

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