When Words Aren’t Necessary

Words have power.

As a word-lover, I often “act” first with words. And that can help.

But sometimes words aren’t necessary.

My son shows me this every day.

My son can’t talk. No one knows exactly why. Incredibly smart specialists and doctors can’t figure him (and his various medical needs) out. We don’t have a lot of answers and likely won’t receive any answers soon.

And yet, he loves.
My son loves to love. Intensely. Fiercely. From his sometimes-too-tight hugs to other kids to his ever-widening smile, he loves.

And he loves and shares that love all without words.

He uses sign language, yes, and he can make himself known through gestures and a shockingly-astute observation and use of feelings.

My husband and I occasionally struggle to figure out what our son is trying to say.

But, the big stuff? He shares the big stuff – the lovestuff – intensely, accurately, and often.

His instant smile captivates attention first, then hearts. His eagerness pulls others into what he’s excited about. His perseverance, strength, and joyfulness are fully God-given.

For that big stuff, he doesn’t need words.

Propaganda, an incredible lyricist and hip hop artist, recently released a new album titled Excellent. (Because of the nature of the album label, Humble Beast, you can download the entire album free here. Crazy awesome, I know. Support the artists in other ways here, too.)

Propaganda wrote a song (featuring Sho Baraka) called “I Ain’t Got An Answer” on this new album. The entire song is powerful, but this verse in particular speaks to me:

“It’s apparent, sometimes I think I’ve failed as a parent 

And my son having autism is roughBut maybe he don’t speak 

Because words don’t say much 

Maybe he don’t need words to communicate his love 

And sometimes the silence it causes me to stumble 

It’s possible he’s a version of me that’s more humble 

And I think my child finds more joy in playing with my phone, playing on his own 

Will he shed a tear when I’m gone? 

I’m wrestling with the shame of an outsider’s view of me 

His life is a spotlight on my own insecurities 

But I know his laugh, it lights up a thousand rooms 

And when he speaks to me, it’s just like a flower blooms 

This has just become my own digital diary 

I’m at the doctor’s office, just hoping they will lie to me. 

My son will be alright, but if he’s not, my son will be alright because he is God’s 

Autism, sickle-cell, or Down syndrome 

Still keeping the faith in the midst of hard-living 

We stand together ‘cause we have no other place to go 

My son and I we live and fight even though 

I ain’t got an answer 

Man, I ain’t go answer”  

The end of the song says: 

“I’m not the answer, this album, this song, these records – they ain’t your answer 

I don’t know the answer, but I know Who got the answer 

Let’s all point to the Savior together, boy  

Look, I ain’t perfect and neither is you 

But let’s look to the Man that knows it…”  

Italicized and bold lyrics are my emphasis.

(To the artists, forgive me if I got any of these lyrics wrong. I wrote them as I listened. Over and over and over again. Thank you for this song.)

I don’t have many (or hardly any) answers about what will happen with our son, and I let fear in way too often (God, help me), but I can-and will and choose to-trust the God who knows. The God who made my son just the way he is—without words, with fervor, and with love. And he’s beautiful.

This post is linked up to Eileen’s “Into the Beautiful” theme here

10 thoughts on “When Words Aren’t Necessary

  1. Janet Roth

    Powerful post. God bless you and your family as you learn to live and love through other means than words.

  2. Pam

    Oh, how beautifully you have expressed this! Yes, I love words too, but I also love the way some people can say a whole paragraph simply with their eyes. I’ve run across that in some very special moments. You also make me think of my mom… in the last stages of her dementia, she could not say much at all. Not sure if she didn’t want to or just couldn’t. But she could look a world of love in her eyes as they would suddenly go all soft… and then, spontaneously, say “I love you” with such gentleness and intensity. I can imagine the love your son shows without words. But then again, they are words… words that just don’t have sound, except to your hearts. You touched me deeply with this…~ Pam, Apples of gold, http://wordglow.wordpress.com

  3. Lisa notes...

    There are so many ways to say, “I love you” and it sounds like your son speaks it loud and clear. And you have great mommy-ears to hear him.

    I love the lyrics to that song. I’ve not heard of Propaganda so I’ll have to click over. (I’ve done the listening thing too, over and over and over, trying to type up lyrics. We’re more patient than we give ourselves credit for. ha).

    Thanks for sharing this peek into your life, Caroline. Praying for all to go well with your son….

    1. Caroline @UnderGod'sMightyHand

      You might like Propaganda, Lisa. His lyrics are very clever and always powerful.

      And yes, my son definitely knows how to say, “I love you.” He shows me *often* how to say it better. :-)

      Thanks for your support and friendship, Lisa.

Comments are closed.