Heather Hansen

Trial Day 18 – Words Create Realities

“God could have made us stone creatures, tree creatures, sea creatures, winged creatures, but God made us speech creatures instead. Human beings made in God’s own likeness, which is to say, capable of joining God in the work of creation by speaking things into being ourselves.” (from Jonathan Merritt’s book, Learning to Speak God from Scratch, quoting Barbara Brown Taylor). We create by speaking things into being.

Any good trial attorney knows the power of words. I’ll never forget one trial I had early in my career. The patient’s attorney had my doctor on the stand, cross examining him with vigor. He was trying to get him to agree with something, and using the doctor’s own deposition to do so. But in reading the doctor’s deposition to the doctor and the jury, he was leaving words out. I objected, because words have meaning. EVERY WORD had meaning.

Words win and lose cases. Words create realities. We must be very aware of what we are creating with ours. Merritt’s book quoted above, is about sacred words and how they are vanishing. But his book is worth reading no matter what your spiritual outlook. Because, as he explains, words do create our reality. His book brought me to the work of Lera Boroditsky, a linguist with a fabulous TED talk on language. She relays that when Americans are asked to point north, most of us don’t have a clue.  But when a community on the Western shores of Australia’s Cape York was asked to point north, children as young as 5 were able to do so. Their language uses the points on a compass the way we use left and right. And thus, they are aware of north at all times. What you talk about becomes a part of you.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE–TRY TO BE AWARE OF THE WORDS YOU USE. If you want to know north, you speak about north. If you want to know happiness, strength, community, or love, speak about these things.

What words do you use, and how do they serve you? Are there words that would better serve you, and things you would rather create? Share with us what it is you’d like to speak into existence. In Hebrew, Abracadabra means I create what I speak. Abracadabra indeed.

Share with us, and with your friends. Help your loved ones use their words to create reality too. Remind them that it’s never too late to join the challenge, and if they choose only one day today is as good as any. See you tomorrow.

Heather Hansen

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