Tuesday, March 11, 2014
First Tuesday in Lent
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my work be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
The first reading for today. Isaiah the Prophet. What an incredible metaphor for the importance of our words. Despite this quote referencing the words going forth from a prophet, the mouthpiece of Spirit, they also say much about the power of the words we speak.
If I say "I'm sick", I sometimes begin to feel sick or queasy or tired. If I say "What a beautiful day!", even a bleak, rain-soaked day shimmers with potential. My words, what I choose to say, how I choose to say it and when I choose to speak, carry power with them. That power shapes my world. It can also influence and shape the world of those around me. If I snap at someone "Why did you do that?", she cringes at my tone of voice and the power of those words tears at her confidence. If I smile and say "Let me help you with that!", the response bouys up the other person instead.
That old schoolyard chant of "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me" is absolutely wrong. Words can do far more damage to us because the wound is unseen and often unhealed for a longer time.
When have your words blessed you and/or others? When have they cursed you and/or others? What will your words do today?