Word Pictures  

Posted by Benjie in

Years ago I was introduced to the idea of word pictures by noted Christian authors Gary Smalley and John Trent. I was participating in a marriage conference even though I wasn't married at the time (the church paid my way so that I could drive the bus for them). Until I was married, I really didn't grasp the concept of word pictures. We were told that, if we really wanted to be heard, we should find a way to say what we wanted to say that would build a picture in the mind of the listener.

After I met my sweet wife, I learned that this was something that I did naturally. Sometimes the pictures the words built were not as appealing as I hoped, but they were there. I also learned that when I tried to create a word picture, the painting wasn't worth the number of words used to paint it (let alone a thousand).

I have also discovered that word pictures come in handy whenever you want to get a point across or guide understanding, not just in romance. For instance, today we are experiencing a steady increase in winter weather. It started with rain early this morning and has now moved into what is known as "winter mix". For the uninitiated, that means freezing rain or sleet. Surface temperatures have lowered themselves to the point of freezing or below, so when the ice hits it clings to and builds up on the ground and roads. This is supposed to progress into accumulating snow in a matter of hours. My point? How do I communicate to my wife, or anyone else that might be interested, the driving conditions? I could say, "It's icy out there," or "Driving is a really dangerous activity when the roads are this icy," but to make sure that my listener can really grasp what I'm saying, I want to bring to mind a picture that will indellibly mark the road conditions on the mind of my companion. Here's what dropped out of my mouth when I got back from retrieving our son from the sitter's: "It's slicker than snot on a hot doorknob."

What about you? Have you encountered some word pictures that really spoke to your heart? How do you get your meaning across?

This entry was posted on 13 February 2007 at 11:06 AM and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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