In the backmatter of The Keeper of Wild Words Brooke Smith says she was inspired by an article that said the Oxford Junior Dictionary removed over 100 natural words because they felt the words no longer held relevance. They replace them with words like Chatroom, Analog, MP3 Player, Database, and Vandalism.
What wild words did they replace? What are wild words?
Some of the words no longer of relevance were:
Why were these words no longer relevant? Perhaps because children are rarely taken on walks or allowed to explore the Creation, to ask questions, to research the natural world. Most of their life is centered around technology.
Words disappear if we don't share them when we talk.
If we don't write them in our stories.
If we don't read them in our books,
If we don't use words, they can be forgotten.
And if they are forgotten...
In Deuteronomy 6:7 the Lord commands us to teach his word to our children. How?
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them
diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. ~Deutoronomy 6:6-9 ESV (emphasis mine)
Are we guilty of replacing God's word with other words? Are we teaching technology over the Word? What about sports words? Do our children know more about TV and movie characters than the real men and women, boys and girls whose true stories fill the pages of scripture?
Maybe our answer to these questions is, "We take our children to church. Shouldn't they know?" I know adults who have been in church all their lives but cannot retell a Bible story other than Christmas and Easter. Ask your children to retell the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors or the story of David and Goliath.
As parents we are the keepers of God's words. The grandmother in The Keeper of Wild Words took her granddaughter for a walk and showed her the wild things that were being forgotten. With all the political correctness in today's world, it's not just the wild words that are being forgotten. It's God's word that is being forgotten.
Father God, thank you that your word is settled in heaven and will never disappear. But we know it may be forgotten. Help us show this generation your word, your truth as we talk about it, read it, write it, and use it in our daily lives.
In Christ Jesus name,
What is your favorite Bible story? How can you share it with others? Here's a few ideas.
- Retell the story to a friend, sibling, or perhaps a grandparent.
- Draw a picture of the story.
- Write the story from the perspective of one of the characters.
- Read a story you are not familiar with.
- Apply the story to your life.