The Art of Conversation
In a recent conversation with a music major, the subject of art came up. I shared with him my fascination with the arts: visual, musical, performance, digital, etc. It was fun to explain to him that, though I am not particularly gifted in any of those areas, I have a deep appreciation for the arts. I then turned the focus of the conversation to conversation itself. You see, I’ve always seen word as art, not just in terms of poetry or literary works, but conversation itself. During our time together, which lasted far longer than either of us planned, we began to see our words as art. As they crossed the table between us, our vocal expressions became brushstrokes on a verbal canvas. The texture deepened and the color palate lengthened the longer our conversation lasted. We created our own linguistic symphony, the varying instruments being the words we chose to use - and to omit. Non-verbal cues were the choreography giving life and movement to the moment. I was swept away in the artistry of it all, yet I knew there was more to this picture that I was not grasping. A few days ago, more of this picture came into focus.
Ecclesiastes was written by the “qoheleth,” or teacher. We do not specifically know who wrote the book, but hints throughout the passage suggest it was the Jewish King Solomon, son of King David, and a man with wisdom so great “there will never have been anyone like [him], nor will there ever be. (1 Kings 3:12 NIV)” I read this “wisdom” book a few weeks ago, and I sent a message to some friends who were also reading it stating that I needed more wisdom to understand the wisdom book. Much of it was over my head. The “Teacher,” whether Solomon or someone else, had wisdom that came from God. I was praying, asking God for more wisdom to understand it. And in a moment of clarity I was swept away by the truth that the God I stand before, Who I have professed my life for, Who gave His life for me, is the same God who has spoken to others far greater than me for centuries.
God used words to bring order to a chaotic world and light into darkness in Genesis 1, and He uses His Word to do the same things in my own life today! It’s astounding, really. We speak to, and are heard by, a God who has spoken from eternity past into eternity future. This same God who gives wisdom to kings and queens and deliverance to the downtrodden, the oppressed, and the orphaned still speaks to us through Scripture, which is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12). Not only that, but Jesus, the Word (John 1), sits at the right hand of the Father as our mediator (Romans 8:34, 1 Timothy 2:5) and the Holy Spirit intercedes for us (Romans 8:26) wordlessly. God is speaking over us, through us and to us, as He has for millennia. His word is not empty and it never returns void (Isaiah 55:11).
Words are powerful. In Proverbs 18:21, Solomon teaches that words have the power of life and death. I see them as tools in the hands of you, the artist. This art we create is powerful. It outlasts us, living on in the memories and souls of our co-creators. If you want to know more about what God is speaking over you, dive into some of the passages given above. If you want to know more about creating beautiful conversation, begin with a conversation with your eternal Heavenly Father now, keeping in mind that conversations are both speaking - and listening. And if you are overwhelmed by the gravity of it all, maybe just sit in glorious presence of God for a moment – speechless. - Jason Simon, Minister to Students