I had to repost this – a really beautiful, thought provoking blog post – the kind I aspire to write!
(from Revd Joanne Cox, Evangelism in Contemporary Culture Officer, Methodist Church)
I discovered a video online this week, with the tagline ‘never put a full stop where God has placed a comma.’
(Ed: Might be this one but not sure of some of the details on it…)
This made me think about the ways we connect and network with each other.
How do we communicate and punctuate our way through life,
…especially online when we have to express ourselves in sharper and concise ways?
The ways in which we communicate online often include more punctuation
as we try to express our emotions in a way that means our words are not misunderstood.
This week, Church Marketing Sucks have produced an article suggesting that in order to enable 2-way conversation is to include more questions in posts and emails.
Through the Gospels we encounter Jesus, who asks questions of people, and also provoked questions in other people.
It made me think. What sort of punctuation am I today?
What sort of punctuation do I need today?
Never place a full stop where God has placed a comma.
Sometimes I feel like a question mark
- everything open to investigation, pressing, pushing, deconstruction, cracking open.
- And sometimes I feel cracked by the questions, like Humpty Dumpty off the wall
- But sometimes, most times, the questions of life bring beauty and wonder and awe.
- And occasional silence.
Sometime I feel like an exclamation mark
- Something that bubbles up in ways that surprises
- Sometimes in a way that shatters like glass
- But most times, a recognition of humanity, mine and yours.
Sometimes I feel like a hyphen
- A nudge towards dislocated clauses.
- Sometimes it is me that is distant and yet choosing to be attached
- Most times it is the pauses in life that help us to think, and to remember that truth can often lie in what remains unspoken
- And yet entirely present
- Like a two beat rest in music
- Maybe that’s it – hyphens remind us to rest.
Sometimes I feel like brackets
- Cuddled and hugged between the trusted arms of punctuation
- Sometimes an after thought, ignored and yet visible. Or visible yet ignored. Brackets exist everywhere, we just pretend not to notice.
- Sometimes the algebraic working that needs to be understood first
- And yet most times a statement or comment that helps reveal and solve and explore.
Sometimes I feel like a full stop
- The place where the buck stops
- A dot of control that means that I know how to cope, how to understand, how to keep breathing. Keep going.
- Sometimes the very thing that just stops.
- In the wrong. place brings. frustration.
- In the right place, brings freedom and the right rhythm for speech.
Sometimes I feel like a semi-colon
- Mostly misused and abused, a total anomaly that can often be replaced by a trusted comma, hyphen, bracket or colon.
- Sometimes enabling revelation and additional contribution
- Sometimes including those who would otherwise be excluded
- Most times winking on the keyboard, waiting.
Sometimes, I feel like punctuation.
@ – giving an identity
# – joining a network
% – showing the majority and speaking for the minority
£ $ € ¥ – reminding us of those with lots and those with nothing and those with lots to lose.
” ” – trying to be heard, or else learning to listen to the other
I wonder which punctuation you need in your life today.
What gifts God has given to us in the room.
So, help us,
To be the punctuation that brings
Life and beauty and wonder and pace to the world.
And most of all,
Help us never place a full stop where God has placed a comma.
Evangelism in Contemporary Culture Officer
Discipleship and Ministries Cluster | The Connexional Team