This week has reminded me of how powerful words are. It is not just the extremes. Something said in jest may touch another’s life in a negative way for a lifetime. Another casual phrase may directly change the shape of a life. Innocent remarks can live well beyond anyone’s imagination.
Words are powerful. People listening more than even they realize. Once spoken, words live on without regard for time, context, and initial intent.
I find myself holding more tightly onto Hope because of an event I doubt anyone other than I remembers. It was a business meeting in New York. I remember feeling honored to be part of the process. I have no particular recollection of the agenda, participants, or even the role I played in the conversation. At the end, during the wrap-up, I made a stupid, idiotic, and extremely unfortunate remark. The remark was simply ugly. It was unnecessary. To make it even worse, it was sexist.
The remark changed my life. It drove me to a new job, not necessarily because of my choice. It forever changed the perception of a few individuals of whom and what I represented. It haunted me then as it does now. Unfortunately, people were listening to my words.
I wonder if I listening to others in the same way those few individuals listened to me that day. What would happen if I did? How would the course of the future change? Am I willing to take that risk?
God is talking to you and me today. In everything around us – nature, events, and individuals – Divinity speaks. God also “backs the word of his servant and confirms the counsel of his messengers. He says to Jerusalem, ‘Be inhabited,’ and to the cities of Judah, ‘Be rebuilt,’ and to the ruins, ‘I raise you up.’” (Isaiah 44.26) The message does not stop there. God tells us how Divinity looks at us. God tells us how we can get the most of our life. God even invites us to be part of Divinity’s mission to the world we call home.
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