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Psalm 12 -- Harnessing the Power of Speech


Psalm 12 – A Song for Sustaining Love on an Octave Scale / דיבור אמת

We, sons of Adam, Speakers, Namers,

Our loyalty to Love caput

Our faithfulness finished

We need Your help. Save us from ourselves for the sake of your Word

This power of tongues so trustingly bestowed.

It’s all around --

Careless words, vain speech and falsehoods between friends

Spotlight seeking slick talkers setting one heart against another

Cut it out already!

Lips wet with vain glosses

Tongues contorted by grandstanding that says,

“Who but me speaks with such mastery!

We’ll dominate every debate, dictate every deal.”

For the sake of the humbled, the silenced

On behalf of those trampled and tossed aside like stones

Now, Here, I AM arises, and says,

“I will help set it right.” As you are my witness.[1]

Words, words, words.

Can words truly reflect the wonder of speech?

Achieve the connecting power for which they were created?

Yes, they can be pure a true,

Like silver, fired in an earthen vessel

Refined seven times over

With filters:

  1. Is it Kind?

  2. Is it True?

  3. Is Just and Fair?

  4. Is it worth saying?

  5. Can it be heard?

  6. Is it for me to say, now, and if so, how?

  7. Will it serve the Greater Good, honor the relationship, and the gift of speech?

Thusly we guard this treasure, the power to create words and shape language

Bestowed on each generation, surrounded by the temptation to debase the sacred,

the Word.

[1] A translation of יפיח as ‘witnessing’ is suggested by Robert Alter, “The Book of Psalms”

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