I’ve been taken by the power of words lately. Whether written or spoken, explicit or a bit cryptic, words are comprised of much more than the simple letters necessary to create them. Words possess roots and definitions, are altered by time and context, and provide a glimpse of the emotion behind them, evidenced in tone and delivery.
This mulling began shortly before my trip to Washington and has continued since then. I boarded the plane with books in hand to accompany me for my flight, including Through Painted Deserts by Donald Miller. This book had been among the pile designated as post-graduation reading enjoyment. I had purchased the book months ago, but had not been able to dive into the pages without being interrupted by required readings. As the plane began to lift off the ground, I was reading these words:
And so my prayer for you is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you, about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax, and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn’t it?
It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out. I want to repeat one word for you: Leave.
Roll the world around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful word, isn’t it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don’t worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed.
These words, along with the encouragement and truth spoken to me by friends, have served as a source of support and re-focus. As I read these pages, I sensed that the timing of this reading was perhaps more suitable than closer to when I had actually purchased the book and intended to read it. I was leaving on a jetplane. I was wondering what comes next in my story. I was craving adventure, something new, something beautiful. The clarity I experienced upon my return home was only possible due to the fact that I had left. And thankfully, I was never alone.