One day an old man in tattered clothes approached a fiery preacher and said, ‘I am mesmerized by the power of your preaching. You have the gift of efficacy and memory beyond compare. The way you apply quotations shows that you are very well versed with the Bible and the sayings of the saints. You are a man of words. The type of words you use shakes the very soul of the people that they get emotionally imprison even before you could reach half of your sermon.’ Hearing the term ‘emotional imprisonment,’ the preacher could not control his tears rolling down the cheek. In a jiffy he felt excruciating pain growing deep within his heart and as if in a flash he saw the review of his life. Right to the words of the old man, the review portrayed him as the fiery preacher who through his preaching had imprisoned thousands of souls instead of liberating them. He had made the poor souls to swallow the solid doctrines and dogmas but never showed them the ways to digest it. He was feeding people only with his powerful words that never effected in action and this is perhaps because he himself was a man of words and not of action. Just like him people lived in words but utterly failed in action. Alas he says, ‘it’s cool to be a fool till you stumble’ for when you fall you realize what it means to fall on the dust. However, for resurrection rising up is necessary and it causes change, yes a radical change.
Often we make a fool of ourselves by making a mistake of considering a word to be a thing. We don’t realize that a word is not a thing and a thing is not a word. No doubt a word is very fundamental in expressing what a thing is, yet it is not the most important thing for one could easily express and smoothly convey a message without even uttering a single word. A thing precedes and is primary to a word. For instance, the word love is not a real thing and the real love is not a word. A word is only a concept and the concept is not a reality. Love can be expressed in so many different ways without even articulating a single word. Moreover, tangible expressions of love are much more precious than the empty word called love. Saying I love you makes no sense if it does not find its expression in action. Where there is true love, words become unnecessary because it manifests itself in action. It is love in action that matters the most and causes people to change. A thing done in action can never be substituted for words. Words are dead if not given life through action. A simple gesture of love in action can move a heart much more effectively than voluminous words. However, a word has its significant place but not in the presence of a loving thing. For example, a mother to express love for her child she would hardly pronounce a word called love but she will do everything out of love in action.
Today we are called to be a Message and not merely a messenger. For the early missionaries the terms message and messenger were synonymous. They were messengers of God and at the same time they were the message because they lived the message. People viewing their way of life could very easily detect the message they intended to convey. However, today there seems to be made a distinction between a message and a messenger. The missionaries today focus more on conveying the message through words than life. Today we are called to be a man of action just as Jesus was. We are called to convey the message through our life in action and apply words only when necessary. Moreover, we are called to liberate people by giving faith education and not merely asking them to consume it. For this we need to awaken the intelligence of people so that they would see for themselves the Truth and come to believe in the love of God. We giving God to people have very less value. Hence, we need to act as sign posts to help people find God by their own because a thing found by self gives energy to withstand even the hardest storm. For Jesus himself would say, ‘if you know the truth, the truth will set you free.’ Let us make Jesus alive first of all in our own life and inspire others by our way of life. Inspiring through life is the most contagious thing in the world.