It's what Christian speakers* need to have.
The ability to say something that slices through all the I've-heard-it-before defences that I've built up over the years. The ability to wake me up and make me listen.
Because I'm lazy and sinful and naturally I don't want to listen.
Cut Through Killers...
- words, if they remain only words.
- religious words
- cliche words
- adjectives. especially superlatives.
Telling me that prayer is the most important thing doesn't make me want to pray. I'm still asleep.
Killer Cut Throughs...
- fresh ideas
- sharp and thorough biblical understanding
- varied sentence length (short to medium) with extra short sentences for emphasis
There was a lovely cut-through moment at the conference I was at today. Carmelina was telling us how God likes to hear our prayers. She was using that revelation image of the prayers of the saints rising like incense to God. I was asleep but I woke up and heard what she was saying when she talked about the smell of bread cooking. I love that smell. (I hate the smell of incense.) Maybe my prayers please God like the smell of bread pleases me. Could God actually like to hear me pray? Maybe I'm not just a nattering annoyance to him... Maybe I should pray more...
Words are a tool, not the end point. Like paint to a painter. If, when a painter finishes her work, all you see is paint, she has not done a good job. The paint must become something else in the painter's hand. If words aren't used to evoke an image, an idea, a feeling... to communicate, then what's the point?
In the words of Miss Eliza Dolittle: Words, words, words, I'm so sick of words...
* and song writers. And Sunday School teachers.