May 25, 2021

Communication by Sharon Heagy


Communication. It seems the more ways we have to communicate, the less adept we are at actually doing it. This is particularly true when it comes to the methods of communication that use words.  We are now part of an era where constant communication is available due to the advent of handheld computers, the internet and satellites.  The technology boggles the mind. The rapid advancement in this area is absolutely amazing but like any tool it needs to be wielded wisely.

Terse text messages can be and often are misconstrued and misinterpreted. Worse yet, messages composed of acronyms and emojis can leave one totally dazed, confused and scratching one’s head. A conversation may go like this, “Btw fwiw idk. Otoh tbh yolo.” (Translation – By the way, for what it’s worth, I don’t know. On the other hand, to be honest, you only live once.) And then there is auto correct. Don’t get me started, or should I say ‘dgms’.

Those of us who love language and who appreciate a well-crafted turn of phrase have the task of keeping the written word alive. It is becoming more of an art form than ever before.

This is one of the reasons we are told in workshops to show not tell. To convey a written picture for all the senses. To reveal humanity in all its messiness and wonder. And, of far more importance, to give others a glimpse into the heart of God.

Be a craftsman, my friends, make it your passion, or dare I say almost an obsession. Be an artisan of syntax. Written words become thoughts in the brain, tears in the eyes, aches of both joy and sorrow in the heart.  The written word becomes spoken word and the spoken word has power.   Power to cut deep or to exalt on high, to crush or to comfort, to pummel or to prop up, to rip open the heart or to bathe its scars with healing waters.

Take not lightly the gift of language bestowed upon you.  Guard it closely, use it wisely and above all, bask yourself, your pen and your purpose in prayer.  Be brave.  When the words won’t come and you are left with a pounding head and a ‘blech’ on your lips, or when words are just a jumbled mess before your eyes, take the pen and ruthlessly slash and cut. Rip the paper to shreds or wad it up and throw it forcefully into the bin with a satisfying swoosh. Backspace like your life depended on it and relish the rhythm of reverse keyboard clicking at a speed nearing that of light itself. Then dare to try, again and again and again. And once the words weave together as they should, like the various sections of a symphony all coming together, rejoice. Rejoice, for this is where the communication zone lies.  This is where the music of the soul is poured out. Where the artist of the written word thrives. This is communication.  Human being to human being, heart to heart. Clear and actual and concise.  Poignant yet positive and, above all, full of hope and love.


  1. Thank you for sharing this encouraging message.

  2. Capitals, punctuation, and full sentences are the rarity rather than the normal with text messaging. But, boy, I so appreciate when all the elements are present! I love your observation of "words becoming more of words an art form than ever before" inspiring us to create and not to stop writing!

    1. Agreed. :-) I'm a stickler for proper punctuation. Even so, I love old school emoticons. Here's one for folks who love rabbits. =:3

    2. I forgot about the advent of emoticons. Love the rabbit.

    3. Thanks for your encouragement, Lynn.

  3. This felt like a call to arms. I was standing outside in the crowd of writers while you spurred us on from the platform. Thanks, Sharon.

  4. In the old days, I can understand using "u" for "you" and other abbreviations. Now it doesn't matter so much. Have you noticed that Facebook posts and web comments are becoming more and more sloppy? This causes me to wonder if the youths of today even graduated high school.

  5. I have noticed, Bruce, and it concerns me. One of the reasons we need to soldier on.


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