Less if more, even less is even more. This is a guideline an English professor taught about writing and editing. He talked about cutting excessive words (i.e that, just, then, definitely) to tighten story lines. A journalism teacher taught to write like an inverted pyramid in order of most-to-least important points. Tig, my husband, uses these journalism tools when speaking. My sister affectionately calls him The One Word Wonder Man because when Tig listens to our nonstop dialogue, he responds to a winded conversation with one word. Some of his classic one-word wonder hits include ‘harsh’, ‘impressive’, ‘wild’, and ‘awesome’.

Jesus also teaches from the less is more approach. I opened a “red letter version” of the Bible and even though most scripture is written in black, the words Jesus communicated are penned in red. Based on the black-to-red word ratio, Jesus was frugal with what He spoke. Limited “red words,” shows Jesus is not a babbler. He wisely chooses His word count to instruct. He used five loaves and two fish to feed 10,000 people. He guides us toward priority living when He teaches, “…Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Mt. 25:40 NIV). Jesus speaks through His actions.

My intent for these essays is to use the “least of these” theme, to gather my ponderings from the FROG blog into one-page reflections. This “500 words or less” idea birthed from a study about increased fragmented reading and listening. Instead of my original discouragement about people missing the value of longer, more complete thoughts, I will go with the flow of this current stream of thinking. If Jesus can do a lot with a little and Tig can summarize my dissertations with one word, I’ll graciously follow suit.

In 500 words or less, Christina

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