Children like words. Playing with sounds is how they learn to talk. Dr. Seuss books are cherished because he offers fun with words. As adults we are aware of the distinct vocabularies that come with each area of our lives. If we don’t know the meaning of “Internet, email, blog, twitter” we cannot function in the world of computers and internet. Teenagers develop their own language. When I was young something that was special, I identified as “neat”. My children call that same thing “cool”. My grandchildren call it “sick”. Words are important. Knowing the accepted vocabulary lets us “in”.
In my daily reading and reflection time, author Madeline L’Engle introduced me to a new word, “Namaste”. This traditional Hindu greeting, often used in Yoga has been adopted in the wider world. It’s spiritual meaning, simply stated is “the God in me, greets, understands, welcomes the God in you.” As Christians we believe human beings are created in God’s image – not just one or two people, not just myself and the people who think and look like me, but that humanity is created in God’s image. Therefore we can say, “Namaste”, the God in me greets the God in you.
Psychologists tell us that the words we use affect the way we think and act. If our vocabulary is riddled with words of harshness and violence, eventually our thoughts and actions will exemplify harshness and violence.
During the month of February, I suggest to you that at least silently within your heart, if not openly, you greet each person you meet with the word “Namaste”. Remember that embedded within each person, including you, is a spark of God. Fan the spark and find warmth.
“So God created humankind in God’s own image, in the image of God, he created them;male and female God created them.” (Genesis 1:27)