On this faithful day in school, the staff room was at its usual market-place setup. My colleagues were busy talking about varying topics of which I contributed little. Listening always seemed golden for me. It so happened that they veered into the subject of parenting. One of them mentioned how this one parent constantly keeps trying to make sure his kids don’t do the wrong thing by always supervising their activities (I learnt they now call these kind ‘helicopter parents’). Then another mentioned that often, when those kind of children get the slightest bit of opportunity, they try to ‘experiment’ all that they were denied doing. One of the staff, Mr John, in his usual authoritative manner interjected, that he prefers the kind of parenting where his words of counsel/instructions are there guiding the children in his absence. What struck me was the way he described it; that the presence of his words would be with the children. The statement was quite deep (or atleast, it was to me).
I learnt way back in secondary school that personification meant attributing human characteristics to objects and concepts. Reading a bit further, I got to learn about anthropomorphism and objectification. But this isn’t a lecture so I don’t have to explain the differences (not like I’m an expert in literary devices or anything near the sort).
In our kingdom constitution, we learn that at the very beginning of things, God’s Word was with Him. This interests me to know that His words weren’t mere sounds produced by contortions of vocal cords, but it was ‘with’ Him and not ‘in’ Him. This same ‘Word’ of God happens to be God. I’ve noticed that scriptures never say ‘words’, just ‘Word’. Isn’t it fascinating that the entire ‘sayings’ of God is just a ‘Word’, or should I say, The Word. Furthermore, we learn that this very same Word became flesh, and dwelt among men. Now, I must confess, I’m among those ‘foolish’ ones who take Bible scriptures to be Truth and not just pages of ‘literature’. The thing I’m trying to point out here is the real personality of God’s Word. Not words given human attributes, but the Word becoming human. This same person of the Word is the one whom by which nothing was made without Him.
I got to learn in the short time I’ve been walking with this Word guy. Interestingly, He speaks too; He taught me that the word He speaks are ‘Spirit’ and ‘Life’. To put another way, the Word(s) of God are metaphysical beings capable of becoming flesh. Aha, right there is one thing I keep hearing preachers talk about. Our clergy men keep telling us, ‘let the Word become flesh in you’, and I never quite got around understanding what it meant before (even now, I’m still a long way off from getting the full light contained in that statement).
I find some Truth in the words of Mr John for when God speaks, the person of His word comes to execute that action. When God saw darkness and declared ‘light be’, His word came out and created the light. It seems to me that, for this person of the Word to become flesh, we have to let Him create in us the attribute of God to we desire to see manifest in our lives (since nothing can be created without Him). Then personification no longer means words/objects taking on human attributes, but humans taking on the Word’s attributes whom is God. This is the Truth in personification.
[For deeper study, check John 1]
Yours with a quill
Image from charlesnorth.blogspot.com