stateside

the importance of and

I’ve been to a handful of museums in my life and I think that art is beautiful. But for me, I can’t really sit and stare a picture for hours on end. It’s not really where I find story or beauty. And that’s ok. I can still appreciate and I still grab onto the spirit of creativity that lingers in museums.

I got a new Bible this week to replace the battered, coverless one that meandered with me around the world. It’s an Amplified Bible and I’ve already found that I appreciate how it is laid out and how the words fit together.

Because, even though I can’t sit in front of a piece of art work for hours on end, I can sit in front of a singular phrase and mull over the loveliness. Normally it’s a phrase or a quote: “hear that your soul may live” “do the thing you think you cannot do” “he was your first love; I intend to be your last”. I normally find these jewels on pinterest or instagram or in paragraphs upon paragraphs. I have words literally tattooed on my body and emotionally imprinted on my heart.

It’s always so overwhelming to me that a writer has the power to take your breath away just by simply placing words in a certain order. And if they hadn’t have done it just in that way then would the phrase have been the same? If a writer had chosen different words for a character to say would have floored you?

Word choice is so important. Words color so much of our life.

And I was reading favorite passages in my new Bible I happened upon a phrase, a word actually that has been on my mind and changed the impact of what I was reading.

and

Yep, a simple three letter word in italics tossed in so many different scriptures. The artistry in this word was the italics. It was the fact that there were certain places that this translation desperately wanted the word “and” to pop up and beat you in the face.

And is a conjunction “hooking up words and phrases and clauses” (thanks schoolhouse rock!). It also allows you NOT to finish a sentence. To realize that the things are connected. So as I was reading all I could see was the places where I needed to see that things were connected. That I didn’t need to stop one sentence to start another. That I could connect them.

With a simple and.

The “and” was so beautiful to me.

So I guess what I am asking myself today, this week, probably for the rest of my life is this: where should I place an “and” and where should I pop in a period. For the most part I believe we are called to an AND life. That we need to be a people who know when to complete the sentence and when to place an “and” in.

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