Friday, October 19, 2012

A Thousand Words

Recently I learned of a movie entitled A Thousand Words. In it, a man learns that a tree containing a thousand leaves will lose one of them each time he utters (or writes) a word. When all the leaves are gone, he will die.

It’s about a literary agent, and the importance of words. What a winning combination, I first thought. But I read the professional reviews and found that it is considered by many to be one of the worst films ever made. 

Too bad – the synopsis seemed terrific. It made me think, “What would be the 1000 words I would (undoubtedly hoard but) eventually use?”

I would of course want to tell some people that I love them. But I think I’d be finding ways to show it more effectively. If they didn’t know it from previous words, I’d make sure they knew it from my actions. (Not a bad thing, now that I think about it.)

What would I say or write with my other words?

I’m starting a list of the most important things I know.

Top of the list is this: I believe that Jesus Christ lived, died, was buried – and physically came back to life.

Secondly, the essential fact that God seems to delight in and shine in impossible situations. Abraham and Sarah were too old; Pharaoh’s armies were too powerful; the walls of Jericho were too strong; Goliath was too big;  Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace was too hot;  Mary was too virgin;  Jesus was too dead. . .

Thirdly, the most helpful spiritual truth I’ve learned is that faith comes in three phases: Promise, Contradiction, and Resolution. Everybody needs to know this, and I need to be reminded of it.

Would you write in prose? Would you dole out your words in poems?

How about you? What would you regard as essential to pass on to other human beings, if you only had 1000 words left?


    Cynthia Ruchti said...

    Latayne, this is priceless. Thank you for turning my thoughts this direction today. I have no "words" of response right now except to say thank you.

    Susie Finkbeiner said...

    What a premise. It's too bad that the movie wasn't made well. Hm. It puts a story idea in my head.

    Oh, this is a difficult question to contemplate. I think that I would reserve my words for my husband and children. My primary ministry. Words of love and encouragement. I think I would write these words, so that they could keep them.

    I have had friends who lost parents early. And some of them struggled through life because of it. If I could ease that struggle with my words, it would be worth it.

    Cherry Odelberg said...

    At first, I thought: poems - fewest words and precise, yet some cannot receive and need copious disambiguation. For those who talk too much, and thus use words in vain, perhaps a thousand word limit would open their eyes. On the other hand, the world suffers most from things left unsaid. A thousand word limit at the price of one's life would only exacerbate withdrawal in an effort at self-preservation.
    You provoke deep thought. I like it.

    Kathleen Popa said...

    Makes me think of Matthew 12:36, that says I'll have to account on Judgment Day for every idle word I speak. "Uh... how much time do you have, God?"

    Barbara's blog said...

    I'd just say I love you to everyone.

    Henrietta Frankensee said...

    The Beloved Disciple apparently spent his latter years saying, "Children, love one another."
    If I said the same words over and over would that count to 1000 or do they have to be 1000 different words?

    Latayne C Scott said...

    Cynthia, my pleasure to be of service to you. You are such terrific writer, I appreciate whatever input you offer me.

    Sweet Susie, I never thought of unsaid words to parents as such a loss. Thank you for pointing that out.

    Cherry, thank you so much. I really wanted to add a poem to my post, one I've recently written, but was afraid it would dilute the main message. And I do so much feel deeply about too many words.

    Katy, beloved one. Bet my idle word list is longer than yours, nanny nanny poo poo :)

    Barbara, my friend, what wisdom in so few words.

    Henrietta, I never thought before about John's emphasis on that phrase, but how true!

    And as for how many of the same words -- hey, I didn't make up the rules for this. And I don't pretend to know that answer!