Words are powerful. They can brighten someone’s day, give them a purpose in life, or bring them back from despair. They can also cut a person to shreds. Once spoken, these words can never be taken back or forgotten. No matter how many “I’m sorrys” you offer, the damage is done.
I have often been told that my words are powerful. Unfortunately at that time I was not using them for a good purpose. I have a short temper, no patience and a very low tolerance for ignorance. Those are my three worst traits! If someone made me mad or wasn’t doing what “I” thought was right, I could bring them to tears with just a few words. Of course I would feel awful afterwards, but at the time I thought I was doing my duty of helping them see the error of their ways!
It has (and still is) been a work in progress, but I can honestly say that the Lord has tamed my tongue by leaps and bounds! I realize how much words can hurt. On the same token, I also realize how much words can help. And to take it a step further, I realize how sometimes it is not the words at all. It is just the presence of someone who cares.
Back in January 2010 when our world crashed suddenly with Caleb’s illness, I spent a lot of time huddled on the floor of the hospital room in tears. One day in particular I just could not face another round of bad news. When the doctor came in, I refused to get up to talk to her, forcing my husband to bear the new prognosis. However, this doctor came to me anyway. But instead of trying to come up with all the right comforting words for a heartbroken mother, she did the most amazing thing. She sat down in the floor beside me, wrapped her arms around me, and CRIED! She let me know, without any words whatsoever, that she knew my pain, knew my anguish, and although she couldn’t change anything, she would be there. I feel so blessed that God brought this wonderful, amazing doctor to me at the exact moment I needed comfort.
That moment has been one of many eye openers for me. Now when someone I know is going through a painful time, I don’t stress over coming up with just the right thing to say. I let them know I care by just being there. A hug, a squeeze of the hand, and shared tears say more than generic words ever could.
Jesus wept. – John 11:35
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