In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1 ESV)
I collect words. I cut them out of magazines to use in my collage work. I enjoy sifting through them to see what surfaces. A phrase may catch my eye. Or a word that I haven’t defined before may jump out at me, like vintage. Then I will get out my dictionary or use the online version to dig deeper into it’s meaning and origin.
Vintage is related to wine and wine making, but has come to mean “being the best of it’s kind.” (dictionary.com) It can also mean obsolete or old-fashioned. It’s root word is related to redeem. Maybe I like vintage things because I get to redeem them from being thrown away.
When I see that vintage is related to redeem, then I want to look up the meaning of redeem, as well. I could spend hours searching for related definitions, and I may even check out the synonyms and antonyms for greater understanding. I can’t explain my fascination with all things word related, but I do love that the apostle John makes the connection between the Creator and the Word.
In the beginning . . . God spoke and the world was formed.
In the beginning . . . words were used to create.
In the beginning . . . the Word was with God and was God, and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
A particular word’s usage can change over the years, but the Word of God remains the same and endures. As Isaiah penned:
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11 ESV)
The words inspired by God in Scripture remain my guiding light, but words in the dictionary often draw me closer to God in ways that is difficult to express.
Listing words in categories can be enlightening, too. Earlier this year, I created a collage of “happy words.” It makes me happy just to look at them, and wonder what they might mean for today or for tomorrow. Words comfort me, as much as knowing that the Word of God dwelt among us to proclaim His love.
What are your happy words? What do you love about words?