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2009 February 11
by Mike

This wonderful communion meditation was shared at Highland this past Sunday by my friend Donna Hester. I asked her for permission to pass it along to you.

This I Believe
By Donna Hester

I believe words are stronger than sticks and stones. This I believe.

I’ve always loved words. My life’s vocation has revolved around words.

I believe God spoke the world into existence with “It is good” and saved it once and for all with “It is finished.”

I know the power of words. I think of stirring words: “I have a dream”, “One small step for man, one giant step for mankind”, “Mr. President, tear down this wall”, “Mount up with wings like eagles”.

And more personal ones: “I, Adam, take you, Donna,” “You have a son,” “It’s cancer.”

Of comforting words: “See you in the morning”; “There is ice cream in the freezer”; “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

And I think of idle words—trivial, gossipy, tattling drivel that neither edifies nor uplifts, but erodes reputations, plants insinuation and carelessly tramples confidences.

And I think of words that build—“you can do this”; “I believe in you”; “come in!”

I think of words of deception—“We’ll stop whenever you want to”; “your insurance will pay”; “fits all sizes.”

I think of confessional words that knock the legs out from under Satan and let the air out of pretensions.

I think of words of love— “She walks in beauty like the night”; “Hi, Sweetheart”; “Call when you get there.”

Of scary words—“HIV positive”; “there’s been an accident.”

And I think of terrible, wounding words we send out like missiles: “fat,” “ugly,” “stupid,” “fag,” “retard,” “whore”–short little words that hit their mark and sear in pain so vivid that 50 years later they still burn.

I take words seriously. I have been hurt more by words than anything else—words written, words spoken and words unspoken.

And I have drawn life and courage from words—stayed afloat, stayed faithful and just stayed because of words.

It was not surprising that I chose theatre as a vocation. Bringing incarnation to the words in scripts. Getting them up on their feet and breathing life into them on the stage. Creating a person out of words.

And I wonder about this God who describes himself as Word. This Word who left us a book of words, who gave us the Word made flesh to dwell among us.

I have a dream. That humankind could learn to use words, not as sticks and stones of destruction, but as ladders and bridges to raise and build and connect. Maybe, just maybe, if we Christians (we image bearers of the Word) could consistently speak with words of kindness, encouragement, welcome and truth, God would look down and say, “Now that’s what I’m talking about.”

22 Responses leave one →
  1. annie permalink
    February 11, 2009

    Wow, this is great. Got to know Donna & Jill when they came to our town to present their “women in Christ’s genealogy” drama. Loved both of them! This piece has Donna’s stamp all over it. I’m thrilled she got to present it as a communion thought. I can hardly imagine. Thank you for sharing it with us, Mike.

  2. February 11, 2009

    What a great way to begin the day – thanks.

    I could hear Donna’s emphasis and lilt and smile as I read the words imagining her saying them.

  3. February 11, 2009

    So glad that God sent His Spirit thes words to her.
    So glad that the body at Highland did not quench the Spirit or these words.
    So hopeful that all of us will stop quenching the spirit of our gifted women.

  4. February 11, 2009

    Beautiful, I love these thoughts!

  5. February 11, 2009

    Like apples of gold in settings of silver.


  6. February 11, 2009

    Mike, I was out of town and missed this. Thanks for sharing it. I love words! And Donna words are full of life.

  7. Terry permalink
    February 11, 2009

    I had flashes of my life through the words spoken. Some did make me smile and some did make me cry.

  8. Ross permalink
    February 11, 2009

    Awesome words! May we all choose our words carefully and use them wisely.

  9. cathy permalink
    February 11, 2009

    Thanks for posting this, Mike. I thought Sunday morning that it would be nice to have a hard copy of these thoughts.

  10. February 11, 2009

    Thank you for sharing. I needed to hear those words.


  11. February 11, 2009

    It would be nice.

  12. February 11, 2009

    There should be a place on Highland’s Web site for wonderful communion thoughts like these.

    (There used to be. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.)

  13. February 12, 2009

    How sweet and lifting to my heart to hear Donna’s thoughts. I have been on the listening end often of words from Donna and they truly are a gift. They are exactly what the Word says we are to do for each other. Thanks for sharing this and now I will share it with my Zambian sisters and brothers during devotional at the hospital.

  14. Jamie B permalink
    February 12, 2009

    Thanks for sharing this, Mike.

    Wonderful, edifying words, indeed!

  15. Brenda permalink
    February 12, 2009

    I was so blessed to hear Donna over KACU as she shared her WORDS. I wished for a copy then — and am very thankful to be blessed with them now. Thanks, Mike — and thanks, Donna.

  16. February 12, 2009

    Well done.

  17. Heather A permalink
    February 12, 2009

    My mom told me about Donna’s great words. Thanks for sharing them with us!

  18. February 13, 2009

    I LOVE words, too — but if I live to be 112 I don’t think I’ll ever string them together as beautifully as this. Bravo, Donna! Bravo!

  19. Joe Baggett permalink
    February 14, 2009

    This is great!

  20. Andrea permalink
    February 19, 2009

    I thank God for giving us a voice.
    I thank Highland Church Leadership for letting us use our voice.
    To hear these words from Donna was an indescribable blessing indeed.
    May our words, like God’s words, yield a fruitful harvest.


  21. Mark permalink
    March 1, 2009

    Really good stuff. I read a somewhat related blog recently by the lead singer of the band Anberlin (one of those Christians who are in a band but not a “christian band” deals ha). While we as Christians should strive to use encouraging words with others he had a very good take on what to do when not so kind words are made towards you. Here’s the link if you are interested.

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