Speechless—Life Application for September 11, 2016

September 4, 2016 No Comments »
Speechless—Life Application for September 11, 2016

By David Faust

faustAre you familiar with the word verklempt? According to a Jewish dictionary, “verklempt is a Yiddish word that means ‘overcome with emotion.’ Pronounced ‘fer-klempt,’ people use it when they are so emotional that they’re on the verge of tears or at a loss for words.”

You may have felt verklempt on the day your daughter left for college or your son got married. Sad or happy occasions like retirement dinners or going away parties make us feel choked up, unable to verbalize our feelings. I usually manage to put on my minister’s game face at weddings and funerals, but I’ve become verklempt when a favorite pet died or when I dropped my family off at the airport.


Has the presence of God ever left you speechless? Maybe you hiked to the top of a mountain and stood spellbound looking over the valley below. You walked the beach on a summer evening as the sun set over the water. Or you looked out your window on a winter day and watched the wind carve sparkling sculptures in the blowing snow. God’s handiwork in nature can take your breath away.

Music can leave you verklempt as well, whether you’re moved by the rhythm of an electric guitar or a choir singing the “Hallelujah Chorus.” Even if you don’t feel a lot of emotion when a band routinely plays “The Star Spangled Banner” before a ballgame, it’s hard not to be moved by that same national anthem at an Olympic athlete’s gold medal ceremony or when a soldier receives a medal for bravery.

A few Sundays ago in church, a quartet of worship leaders sang a four-part rendition of “Shine on Me,” and without warning I found myself fighting back tears. Perhaps the same thing has happened when you were reading the Bible or listening to a teacher expound on it and some new insight (or a familiar truth presented in a new light) stirred your soul.

To be clear, we shouldn’t measure our relationship with God by the intensity and frequency of our emotional experiences. At its root, love is a choice. It’s an action more than a feeling. But when love runs deep, emotions shouldn’t be denied. Have you ever been overcome with awe because of God’s love and grace? For most of us, I suspect such moments are rare, but we should be grateful whenever holy wonder breaks through.


Isaiah pictures a mountaintop experience when “the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples.” When this joyous gathering of the faithful occurs, God “will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples,” remove the gloom of death, and “swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace” (Isaiah 25:6-8). Finally and forever we will be completely whole, healed, healthy, and holy—and we will be together, united in fellowship with each other and with God.

How can we find words to describe this breathtaking scene? Will we be verklempt when we join the Lord and his people at this victory banquet? Perhaps. Hopefully we will find the strength to say, “This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation” (v. 9).

David Faust serves as the Associate Minister at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Based on International Sunday School Lesson, © 2012, by the Lesson Committee. Scripture quotations are from the New International Version ©2011, unless otherwise indicated.

For evaluation questions that coordinate with today’s article, go to Evaluation Questions in our Bible Study Tools menu.

Daily readings

Sept. 5


Isaiah 25:1-5

Praise for Deliverance from Oppression

Sept. 6


Luke 14:1-6

Healing Can’t Wait!

Sept. 7


Luke 14:7-11

Wait to Be Seated

Sept. 8


Luke 14:12-14

Invite the Needy to Your Table

Sept. 9


Luke 14:15-23

Dinner Will Be Served!

Sept. 10


1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Christ Died for Our Sins

Sept. 11


Isaiah 25:6-10a

Attending God’s Banquet Feast


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