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No Weapon Formed Against You

Posted by Priscilla on April 20, 2013

A Facebook friend posted yesterday from Boston: “People are singing in the streets. I love us.” Someone else responded “That saddens me. What do we have to celebrate?”

One FB poster focused on death and destruction, the other on the glory of facing down the darkness. One saw only pain and suffering; the other saw the human spirit enlivened.

I stand with singing. I stand with celebrating. 


Evil seemed to be winning this week. From bombs to explosions to letters of ricin resentments to conspiracy theories on Facebook, darkness felt strong. What weapon do I have against that?

My weapons are two: I have word and I have song.

Song is the weapon of the human spirit. Song is the belief that there really is resurrection; that no matter what an enemy plans for me, I will stand again. In song, we who formerly groped around sightless suddenly see.

Word is the weapon of the human soul. There is none more powerful. The only sword that can pierce through lies, through obfuscation, through tyranny, and through the enormity of evil is word.  

I think about the power of word so often that my characters end up arguing about it. Out of bitter grief, Nicholas suggests to Julian that both men have wasted their lives, he for thinking that poetry could carve order from chaos, and Julian for believing his words could draw men away from the path of slave ownership. Now, Nicholas calls words “empty houses” that echo, certainly, but only with “shadows and silence.” His friend refuses that dark conclusion. “Who had more power?” he asks. “Socrates or Solon? Come now, Socrates or Solon? Cromwell or Christ?”

Indeed. Only word can change the world.

What does this mean for the writer? It means just what it means for all of us: guard your weapons.

Guard your song by celebrating every triumph of light, yes, but more importantly, guard your word. Thoughtless words, boorish words, slanderous words, idle words -- these leave us with dulled weapons. False words leave us no weapon at all. How then will we stand?

Guard your weapons. With song and word, no weapon formed against you shall prosper.

What do you think?


Posted by Marji on
Hi Priscilla, We met at the Word Weavers Retreat at La Tourneau. This is a wonderful post, thank you for sharing this. The sad events of the past few weeks included the death of my 95-year old mother-in-law. Her last words to me were: "Have you done your best?" I thought a minute and answered "Yes, I have. I've done my best." "Then, be at peace," she replied. Thank you for reminding me to hunt for the story and song in every trial. Blessings, Marji Stevens
Posted by Marianne on
Thank you Priscilla, once again your words have inspired reflection and now my words will bring about change. Keep posting, we are waiting for your words and song.
Posted by Janet Erickson on
Priscilla, I love what you captured in this post. Yes, absolutely sing and celebrate -- drive back the darkness and stand in the power of word. Thanks for this inspirational post.
Posted by mary connolly on
Last week the entire Boston area came together as a team, not a sports team but a humanity team. Instead of being down a spirit lifted them to greater courage, understanding and love. I am reminded of the saying "united we stand, divided we fall." They became united by this horrible event. Power is in the numbers. I knew they would rise up above this tragedy. I felt it all along.
Thank you Priscilla for being a voice in that crowd.
Mary Connolly
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