One letter is the only thing that differentiates these two words, and yet the difference in the definition changes exponentially by that simple change.
It’s incredible that so much hinges on such a small element that’s either included or omitted. It’s the difference between a gap in the ground and a solid surface. It’s the difference between emptiness and completeness.
Before one afternoon this fall, I’m not sure I’d ever noticed such a large difference between two words that are so similar. I was at a conference and listening to Richard Stearns, president of World Vision, as he shared about his book, “The Hole in our Gospel,” and what he believes is a glaring hole in Christianity as it’s lived out in the United State. Stearns believes what’s missing is an active concert for people affected by poverty and injustice.
It was as if I had been sucker punched in the face. Stearns was talking about a hole in the way people live out their faith, but with concern and action it could become whole. It was a difference that could be accomplished in one step (albeit a difficult one). You could change the complete meaning of a word by adding one letter. It was the difference between hole and whole.
How much of our lives hinges on the difference of something this small? Are there areas of your life that would take a 180-degree turn if changed by one simple (or difficult) action? Could one word make the difference? One sentence? One apology to a friend or spouse? One act of forgiveness when you don’t really want to but know you need to forgive? One moment of faith?
Could you discover the difference between hole and whole in your life?