Words. It is how we communicate.
Words can be subtle; they can have power. Words can be misleading, but also can be life-giving. Words are how one can let others know what we are thinking; they can express our ideas, our dreams, our desires, our fears.
Words can be meaningful and they can be harmful.
Watching an infant try to speak the words we want them to speak can be wonderful, yet also frustrating. As parents, we so want to be able to understand what they need and want from us. It is our responsibility to teach them how to talk. From their earliest babbles: baba ba ba ba, comes their first word. How exciting it is to hear that first word uttered! From that moment on, we are constantly trying to teach them words so that this little human can communicate with us. We are so anxious for them to talk that lately young parents have taken to teaching sign language so that baby can express himself to mommy and daddy.
I have a two and a half lively grandson, who is not talking completely clearly -yet. Jax is a bundle of energy and is constantly on the move. He is way ahead in physical and motor skills than 90% of kids his same age. Verbally, he is a bit challenged. He is making progress and I delight in hearing his newest words. I had tried countless times. "Jax, can you say Grammy?" and get absolutely NOTHING. About six weeks ago, I walked into my daughter's home where Jax was playing . He looked up and saw me and came running to me saying "Gammy! Gammy!" Oh this grammy's heart burst with joy as I picked him up to give hugs and kisses.
The written word is one of my very favorite things in life. I have loved to read since I learned how to read. One of the very first books I could ever read was ' Sammy the Seal'. I still have the book and have read it to my own children and now their children.
I love that thru books I can explore things I could never imagine on my own. I love spy thrillers, legal and medical mysteries, am a sucker for some romance novels (Nicholas Sparks and Debbie MacComber). I love autobiographies and non-fiction. As an English major in college, I don't go for the latest trends- have not read a Harry Potter book, or Twilight or the Hunger Games. Maybe someday, but am glad that others find them enjoyable. I love the Classics and Jane Austin is my literary hero. I have read books about Nelson Mandela and because of them, he has become my modern day hero. If you were to observe me on vacation, you would most likely see me reading a wide variety of books. I am just a voracious reader and am glad this is a trait passed on to me by my dear dad.
I have learned so much from books. I have been to places that I have dreamt about. I have been challenged and encouraged. I am so thankful for the pure joy I get in reading. Reading is all about words. How an author puts together concepts and ideas so that the reader can understand amazes me.
The spoken word has incredible power.
One pastor's sermon can inspire, enlighten and challenge many to seek truth, seek God, do something, change for the better, relinguish a nasty habit.
I heard Barak Obama speak at an AIDS conference at Saddleback Church about seven years ago and his words struck me to the core. However you may feel about him as president, does not negate the powerful orator he is.
I heard Jane Fonda speak once, and was so inspired by her words.
My words can be an encouragement to some. But I also am aware of how I have used them to deeply hurt -even damage - some people. The words I have spoken that I wish I could take back; oh, if only I had contemplated first how my words might impact the person I was saying them too. To think I might have permanently lost a relationship with my sons, or two of my closest friends because of my careless words, makes me shudder.
I have learned my lesson. I know now that I really do try to think before I speak.
Recently a friends words brought pain into my life that I am sure she has no idea that it even happened. But the hurt that it caused me and someone I love, those words cannot be undone; the harm has been done. It was in my time this morning of reading the Bible that I read these words from Psalm 39:1
"I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth..."
Once again, I am asking God to help me. To remind me of the power of my words-whether they are spoken or written. I want to really live out the words of James 1:19
"Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. For man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires".
And I ask you to forgive me if my words have hurt you. I am truly sorry for any pain, hurt or anger I might have caused.
May we all really see the power of our own words.