Cal Aaron's young granddaughter came to the kitchen while Cal was eating liver. Amber looked only for a moment and then said, "Is that good?" Cal, chompin' away said, "It's great? Wanna try it?" She did. He put a forkful in her mouth and immediately she leaned over and without allowing her tongue or lips to touch it any more than already, she appealed, garbled but clear enough and decisively enough, "Get it out!" "Ga…ih…ouah." Enunciation had to fend for itself.
I like a person who knows his/her own mind and I like them even better when they make their feelings crystal clear even if we might have some question about the precision with which they said it.
If we're delivering one…more…time a moral exhortation to pursue this virtue or that ["We need honesty…We need to be kind…We need to be courageous" and "here are nine ways you can develop this virtue"] then I suppose we won't have much trouble making ourselves clear; the congregation could finish the lesson for us if we had a stroke.
But if we're attempting to bring out the richness of the Story in new ways, so that the people of God will know their God better and know their place in the unfolding of that Story we might have to work with unfamiliar truths. We don't have to be dull when we're doing that but we ought to work at making ourselves clear. There's a price we have to pay if we're to be able to do that—we have to get to know what we're talking about and that means work with the biblical witness.
In my life I've spluttered on and on enough, going nowhere in particular and sometimes I've claimed, "I have it in my head, I just don't know how to say it." I suppose that might have been the case once in a blue moon, but as I reflect now on my little life I realise that my speech was woolly because my thinking was woolly. The problem didn't lie in my inability to communicate well what I had a real grasp on—it was that I didn't really have a grasp on it before I got up to bob and weave.
Pay the price!