I think back on my life and my family I remember words shared between us as we journeyed through the years. Words we share with one another can be healing or they can be devastating. The old playground adage “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,” simply is not true. Words can cut the heart and leave deep and long lasting scars. I think back on particular times of my own childhood and remember those times I was the victim of wounding words and they are times that still sting my memory and my heart. I think back on times I have said words that were unkind and wonder if the other person still remembers them. Our words matter.
Our words can influence others for good or evil. Our words can bring life or death, healing or hurt, comfort or condemnation, our words matter. There are times when the words we share are intentional and direct and there are times when they are unintentional and not well thought out but whether intentional or not we need to always be mindful of how they are received and endeavor to speak words of justice, kindness, and humility.
A practice our family has had for many years is to share the words “I Love You.” I am relatively confident in my the last words spoken to the majority of my close family members before they died were “I Love You.” I know they were with my mother and with my father. I remember well the last conversation via the phone with my dad I can still hear his voice in my mind when the conversation was over, “I Love You Son,” “I Love You Too Dad.” They are words the remaining of our family share with each parting, with each close of a conversation whether a phone call with the boys or whether we have been to see them. They are the last words TruDee and I hear from one another before we drift off to sleep and they are the last words we speak as we head out the door to go to work. Our words matter, not just because it is an expression of who we are and who we love, but sometimes they can literally be the last words spoken or heard by our loved ones. It is a worthwhile habit and sharing on a regular basis. They are words of love and joy.
This coming Sunday we will continue our series “Breaking Free; The Kindom Experiment.” We will be considering moving from our prisons of “Wounded Hearts to Joy.” Take some time this week in preparation for this coming Sunday and consider who and what words have wounded your heart. Take some time this week and consider who and what words you have shared that may have wounded another’s heart; once considered ponder what it might take to find healing, to speak words of forgiveness, of healing, of love and move into a life and relationship of joy.
It is one of the many ways we seek to be faithful to the Spirit and one another here at the Hill, where you are one of the family. Here where there is always an open door, a safe space, a warm welcome, and a place at the table.
Until next week, God bless, and know you are never alone.