Glimpses and Mopping

Deep thoughts for whatever reason often hit me late at night. Tonight it was while mopping the floor.

I have loved my time working in Ecuadorliving with, interviewing, and sharing the lives of five beautiful single teen moms and their childrenbut chores are definitely not my favorite part of the experience.

And twice a week it falls on me to sweep and mop the floor after dinner. So what do I usually do? Put on music, sing out, and mop away.

David Crowder’s “How He Loves” came on just as I began, and suddenly, I had a glimpse of the tremendous and extremely personal love of God:

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.
And oh, how He loves us… How He loves us all!

 

I’m pouring cleaning solution on the floor, and I realized that’s how God cleans usby pouring his blood. I’m scrubbing away, and I realized likewise God sometimes has to scrub harder for the dirt to come off.

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Then I thought, these girls. Their pasts. Things that I can’t even imagine, and yet God too cleans them out of His great love and jealousy for them.

And then I realized, eclipsed by glory, how truly beautiful He is and how great is His love for us all. A God who takes abused or abandoned, or simply lost girls and brings them into a home where many of them are experiencing love for the first time. A God who has brought them to a place where they are respected so that they know they are valued. 

When He cleans and when He washes, it is out of great love and jealousy. He wants us clean! He wants us free! He wants us to know love and family and worth. He wants us to know Him. 

Meaningful Words: Just as it Should Be

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Pardon my language, but I’m going to go with Mark Twain on this one:

“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you are inclined to write ‘very’; your editor would delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”

If only we would stop over exaggerating and write as we should.

Robin Wauters wrote an article I read recently about this very issue. It called for ten overused words to be banned from press releases, including “leading,” “innovation,” and “revolutionary.” The point is that when we overuse and misuse these words consistently, they loose their meaning—completely counteracting your purpose as a writer.

The purpose of any writer—whether PR or journalism—is to make information understood by your audience. And when our words loose their meaning, so does that information.

So how then do we write in a way that is exciting and engaging without overusing and abusing words?

Know your audience. Writing to your audience both defines your content and vocabulary, which, incidentally enough, solves both problems. If your content is applicable to your reader, then you get an engaged reader. If your write to your reader’s comprehension level, then you get an engaged reader. It’s simple—nothing your write will be successful if you don’t understand your audience.

If you think you are writing simply, write simpler. This is preaching to myself as much as anyone. As writers, let’s be honest. We can get a big head. We love words. We love big words. And we want to share those words as much as possible. This is the problem though—not very many other people care about the nuances the between facetious and frivolous. But a lot of people can find it in their heart to care about the difference between inappropriate and lighthearted.

Remember your purpose. Basically, the point is simple: you are writing to get your message across. Put aside your own agenda and awesome writing ability, and channel “the reader.”

Which, by the way, is much more difficult that writing for yourself.