“A human life is a single statement.” ~ Howard Thurman (in With Head and Heart) Isn’t that a fascinating thought in light of …
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God…All things came into being through him.” ~ John 1:1-3
“In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said,” ~ Genesis 1: 1-3a
I am more than a word; I’m a whole statement. A breathing out of expression from God. Perhaps all of humanity is the expression of God’s wisdom. All the earth. All the world. All the worlds. All the universe. The whole spoken vocabulary of a God whose nature is Creation.
Now, I do take liberties with the written language, unapologetically, and to the chagrin of my editor, but still, the thought fascinates. If my life is a single statement, what does that look like? In have a capital letter to begin (born) and period at the end (death). But the rest, I am meant to fit in.
- There are commas ,,, pauses to stop and think, perhaps re-group or re-route.
- There are colons ::: to proclaim: this is what I mean.
- There are semi-colons ;;; to join an additional idea I didn’t think of to begin with but now seems correct to add.
- There are hyphens – to join two words into one or perhaps to connect a word so long that is sprawled onto the next line.
- There are apostrophes ‘ ‘ ‘ for all those letters I left out in my rush to tell.
- There are dashes — for those things that really didn’t need adding — the sentence didn’t really need — but people really should know.
- There are ellipses … where I left something out or skipped right along.
- There are Parenthesis ( ) to enumerate, add explanation or offer citation where it is deserved. Oh, I expect these are really lengthening my sentence, but one must give credit where credit is due.
- There are quotations ” ” because sometimes only the original expression will suffice.
- There are spaces empty of anything, awkward because something really should go there, but what?
Did the author make a mistake? Leave out a letter. Make a deletion? And what of misspellings and insertions, strike-through’s and editorial comments in the margin. Remember all those red marks on your English paper? Those English teachers have a graphics department all their own!
But to these stalwart men and women (mostly women) I owe a great deal — for teaching me about grammar and spelling and the parts of speech. Helping me diagram sentences, assign subjects and objects, identify dependent and independent clauses and lasso the run-on sentences.
Because today I can look at my life as a single sentence spoken by God, a continuous out-pouring of breath, freely and joyfully being exclaimed. I am its subject. My life’s purpose is its verb. The one I act on or act for is its object. With one inspiration, God breathed me into the world and the wind of the Spirit moves me along.
Wouldn’t it be great if when I came to my end God put an exclamation point? I’m not really sure how to punctuate that sentence but it seems right to ask.