Soft Clay

by DanWolgemuth on May 5, 2017

Words are the soft clay that get formed into either useful or destructive purposes.

I know this. I hear this. I am this.

Ten years ago, while visiting our Youth For Christ chapter in Fort Wayne, Indiana, a young woman walked up to a cold metal microphone and announced to the world that as a sixteen-year-old she had never heard the words, “I love you,” from a family member. Never.

I can still see her face. No visible bruises, but black and blue to the core.

Words are free, but expensive.

In the many years that have followed my Fort Wayne experience, I have heard teenagers over and over again relate the damage done with words. Sometimes baseless, but often graceless… words land in the souls of vulnerable kids and anchor themselves in the bedrock of identity.

Letters assembled in a toxic brew. Words forming sentences that construct paragraphs that shape destinies.

Words shaped from the overflow of our soul. Words formed from the vocabulary that has been instilled in us.

“In the beginning was the Word…”

From the foundation of the world, words have mattered. While it was a piece of forbidden fruit that caught Eve’s eye in the Garden, it was words that confused her identity and opened her soul to defy God.

But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5, ESV)

Lies with glossy promise.

But God.

Rich in mercy. Abounding in love. Just and compassionate.

But God… dispatched His only begotten son to become the Word in the flesh.

The Word with a pulse. The Word with legs. The Word who could raise a fist to the lies and speak honest words of redemption, hope and transformation into every soul that would listen.

That beautiful young teenager who stood at the microphone in Fort Wayne had been rescued. Not through the education system. Not through the courts. Not through economic opportunity. She had been rescued with words. With the Word. In the flesh. Christ is us. Our hope. Our identity.

Today, you will form somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 words. Some with your lips, some with your fingers… all from your soul. Shape them wisely. Use hands of truth and grace to form them.

Once spoken/written they become like pottery fired in the oven. They are impossible to reshape.

“…and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17, ESV)

Even God. Especially God used words.


His son. Our brother. Beloved.

Words. A sacred trust.

Form them wisely, then use them boldly. To defy the lies.

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. (John 1:14, NLT)

The Word. Unfailing love.

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