Someone in my people circle has a catch phrase they use frequently in response to my strong, over exaggerated and partly humorous opinions and spins I sometimes dole out, "Don't be a hater."   His response is no doubt an over exaggeration as well as brushed with a bit of humor.

I do though hate cliches.  I hate them with a fiery passion.  Don't get me wrong, I love when the perfect words can be coined, whether spoken or written, that succinctly and brilliantly say something in a poignant way.  I hate though when a cliche is used prematurely, loosely, carelessly before time has revealed its truth buried in the presentness of the hurt.  I hate when a cliche is used like a pep talk to a football team in the locker room at half time. 

Words may be true, accurate, coming from someone far more experienced in the circumstance than us, from someone who has weathered the same storm and come out the other side, but they cannot fast forward our emotions, our reactions, or our pain.  That's why cliches make me crazy.

Cliches are no doubt said for a couple of different reasons; experience shared by someone who has passed through the fire, lack of connectedness personally to the situation so someone else's words have to be used, and ignorance.  The first reason I don't like, but can tolerate even though a person of experience should address the period of healing en route to the cliche, the end result.  The second reason just purely pisses me off.  I would rather you say nothing than to say something because you don't know what to say and feel you must say something.  Silence can be very empathizing when words don't meet the need.  The third reason is reserved for the emotionally deficient folk who use cliches like a form letter ignorantly thinking they are meeting the need.  They have no clue that in "ministering" with a cliche they have actually minimized and fractionalized the other person's pain and hurt.

While very true, cliches are the end result, the collective musings from having survived, seen the pain decrease, and had time elapse.  They are not the fuel for the journey through the circumstance.  Cliches by-pass the present struggle.  They, though sometimes meant as encouragement, have a hint of "mind over matterness" in them.  Mostly they are things we know but just can't feel quite yet. 

God created us with deep emotions.  He actually made us that way.  To have emotions is His design for us to feel, to experience the gammet of extreme joy to deep sorrow.  I believe without one of those emotions we could not experience the other extreme either.  Those feelings, those emotions, are God's way of connecting us to life, people, and ultimately to Him. 

To cliche away hard situations, the pain we are experiencing, is to short-circuit processing in our humanness the bigness of things beyond ourselves.  We find God in deeper streams in the difficult, the hurt, the struggle.  Right smack dab in the midst is hard, uncomfortable, excruciatingly painful experiences designed to be felt, wrestled with.  It's part of how we come to terms with reality, God's timing and our own disappointment between what we thought would happen and what actually did. 

I told my daughter recently, in the midst of one of her own deep streams, that I really didn't know more than about two things;  That as deep and fierce as my love is for her, God loves her so much more that it is absolutely crazy and mind blowing.  And, time is part of the healing process for just about everything in our lives. 

Cliches are a bit too trite, impersonal, over used to the point of losing their effectiveness and far too precisely concise for me.    Life is big yet highly intimate.  At times it is in your face and frequently, very messy.  Time's seasons help the hurt, the pain, and put distance between their intensity and us, eventually.  Until that happens, cliches are fairly meaningless.  Fairly is too soft really.

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