More than a week ago, I was tagged me for a meme by Jennifer at Grow Where You are Planted. Usually I only put meme’s on my personal blog, but since the tag was for the recently popular “Six Word Memoir” I thought I could come up with something profound to turn into a story for Becoming Me. Throughout the week I thought of myriad ideas to complete this meme, but not one yielded anything resembling profundity. Each idea I came up with was at best cliché and at worst nonsensical.
The more blog posts I read featuring this pithy meme, the more I was convinced that this was not the game for me. Some memoirs were witty, some were awe-inspiring, and some were draped with such simplistic beauty and eloquence that I had to close my eyes and quiet my heart as the message resonated within. And then I read a blog whose author unknowingly inspired this post. My friend Linda arose to the challenge, wrote her lovely six word testimony, and spurred her readers to do the same. I left a weak comment stating that I may give it a whirl, but that “brevity is so not my strong suit.” Linda quickly responded informing me that if I took out the so, I’d have the six words I needed. She wrote in jest, but hit a home run. I had my six words. Profound? No. The best descriptor for me? Yes. I do think so.
I am a woman of many words. That is funny, because I married a man who speaks only a few. If The Professor were asked to describe his wife in one word, he’d, without a moment’s hesitation, say “complicated.” If I were given the same task, I would first pause and respond with something like “Uh, well, it depends on the moment. If it’s raining, I’m….” I would exhaust 30 minutes if the inquisitor’s time listing one word for 500 scenarios. Brevity is not my strong suit.
There is a time and place for being wordy. My girlfriends appreciate my essays on why they do not look fat in their jeans or why I think it is OK for them to spend a few hours alone and guilt-free. Being long-winded and detail oriented has its place. But so does silence.
Life brims with emotional firestorms that words cannot soothe. Those are the times in which I am learning to stifle my advice, quiet my words, and pray for God’s voice and love to cover the weightiness of the moment. When miscarriage, severed marriage vows, and devastating illnesses ransack the lives of loved ones, a tender embrace speaks volumes. It is in those moments when six words are all that are needed, I’m so sorry that this happened. It is then that brevity, whether or not it is my strong suit, becomes a gift.
Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10 (NIV)