Use Words When Necessary

In Ireland, just North of Dublin, there is a place called Monasterboice that is home to a number of High Crosses. These crosses stand 20 — 30 feet high and are made out of stone. On the face of these crosses are carvings that depict scenes from the Bible and life of Jesus. The crosses were used to tell the story of Jesus’ life to people long before it was commonplace for everyone to read or have a copy of the Bible themselves. So on the face of these crosses is a life depicted for all to see.

As I was thinking about these great crosses, I began to wonder, when people see me, what do they learn about my life? In my words and actions, what is the story I reflect? Maybe you have asked yourself those very same questions?

There is a saying in the Quaker tradition that in some ways relates to those high crosses in Ireland. The saying is, “Let your life speak.” So what does your life say? Now, we all know people who do a lot of shameless self-promotion. We know people who talk a good game, but when it comes down to it they do not live up to the words they speak, but, I know far more people who quietly and faithfully let their lives speak love and compassion.

Let your life speak. Maybe you have heard the phrase, actions speak louder than words. Oftentimes, we learn the most about people by their actions. You treasure the presence of friends and family members at the death of a loved one, but hardly remember a word that was said. You remember that the Smith’s sent over a casserole when your baby was born, but you don’t remember what they said about your child. You remember that John shoveled the sidewalk every time it snowed the winter you had your knee replaced. Let your life speak, and when it does may they be words of grace, love, and kindness.