This month I am looking at how the Lord teaches us about Rest through our experiences in day to day living. I think we can see His love of rest in many areas including language. I have said this here before: I love words! Words communicate ideas. Ideas connect people‘¦or divide them. Words are constructed from letters, but there is more to writing than knowing the alphabet.
Think about spoken words: Did you ever notice the loudness of silence in a hushed library? Have you uttered something just when there was a lull in the conversation of a group? Eek – your comment explodes onto the scene! Or have you ever gorged your ears on rattling, tiresome talk till you just knew you were starving for quiet? The spaces between words can be as important as the words themselves.
It is funny, but our communication relies not only on letters and words and ideas, but also on the rests between them. These rests allow our words and ideas to be communicated clearly and to have greater impact. Occasionally, more is said by a pause than by a conversation.
Here are just a few examples of how rest is integrated into writing:
- Through Spaces: We need spaces between words in order to make sense of them. Ithinkifyougivethissentenceagoodlookyouwillseetheimportanceofspacesbetweenwords. Think about how the eye has no where to settle without the spaces. It is nearly impossible to read fluidly with such a jumble of letters! Ancient Hebrew and Arabic used spaces between words, but it wasn’t until 600-800 BC that spaces between words were incorporated into Latin (wiki!). And that was the beginning of something great. Nowadays, we do see the use of words without spaces, than in the past because of URLs (girlsgrowingwithgod.com) and hash tags (#RestInHim). Read here (external website) for a funny take on this!
- Through Regular Pauses and Stops: Periods and Commas. I tell my kids that the Period and the Comma are the times they can take a breath when reading aloud. But Periods and Commas can be used to convey important messages too. The weather was cold and miserable. We needed our coats, but had forgotten them. My friend Cati and I were discussing our penchant for run-on sentences during our college composition classes and we decided that, though we didn’t necessarily appreciate the constructive criticism at the time, it was warranted and we have since come to appreciate the need for rests and pauses and the punctuation marks that provide them for us so that we can think and breathe in between sentences. How do you like my run-on? 😉 We can get great examples of spoken run-ons when a small child tells a story. (See, here is the perfect place to pause so you can remember an example and chuckle)
- Through Dramatic Pauses and Stops: Periods, commas, dashes, and ellipses. We see the use (or abuse?) of punctuation marks much more now in the digital age. People use periods and ellipses and dashes to help you hear their “voice” written words emulate spoken conversations. It. Makes. An. Impact. I think that texting gave life to the previously overlooked (and underutilized?) ellipsis…perhaps one of my favorite punctuation marks…it gets a lot of action now. And I do love how the lowly comma can communicate a verbal aside, like this one, to increase understanding without having to increase the word count, unless you mean to, in which case you can.
I could go on and on…there is definitely much more that can be said on this topic…but where’s the rest in that? Suffice it to say that God made us in such a way that rest is beneficial to us. We need rest in our bodies and in our minds. We need rests in our music and in our conversations.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made (John 1:1-3). Today, look at the many ways the Word has created rests in our lives and be thankful for His many kindnesses.
Just curious are you a run-on sentence person? What’s your favorite punctuation/rest mark?
Britta ~ I am justAgirl…just like you!
P.S. Don’t forget we are “meeting” here for the Bible Study, Putting on a Gentle and Quiet Spirit (amazon.com link), on Friday – see you then!