How would you describe something to someone who has never seen what you’re describing? For example, suppose you meet someone who grew up in the midwest and they had never seen the ocean before. How would you explain what the ocean looks like?
Sure, you could show that person a photograph, but that won’t convey the vastness that is the ocean. You might be able to compare it to miles of wheat fields but even those are broken by an occasional tree or grain elevator.
What about mountain peaks higher than 14,000 feet? How would would describe the Grand Tetons or even Mount Everest to someone who has lived at the beach their entire life? What if that person had never seen snow? What words would you choose to tell them what each gentle little flake is like?
Words have power. The Bible even cautions people, in several passages, about the strength of words and how they should be used. Words can paint pictures for a person, explain emotions and even cause feelings in others – both good and bad.
How do you use words? Have you painted a picture for someone in describing a detail of a story? Have you helped someone feel better about him or herself or have your words sliced through the emotions, causing pain and suffering?
Think about your words the next time you write or speak to someone. What picture are you painting?