God’s given all of us a most powerful instrument: Our WORDS, a tool able to create memories for a lifetime. They’re invisible little creatures but packed with a potent punch. Without notice, they can cause one to be immensely blessed, or they can cut to the quick, causing one to bleed for days, even years.
It’s a true fact. People might forget what you say or do to them, but they will never forget how your words made them feel. I’m sure you have remembrances, both positive and negative, of how others’ comments impacted your well-being. So do I.
When I was eight years old, Darnell White, mother of Dr. Joe White at Kanakuk Kamps, likely saw me forlorn on the camp grounds suffering from homesickness. She seized the opportunity to pull me aside, implanting a golden nugget into my third-grade heart.
“Pam, I was noticing your smile at the lunch table. It lights up the entire mess hall.” Her love felt like the garden rain in a parched desert. Goodness, from that point forward I found myself smiling at everyone, just in case Darnell was watching. Her kindness mattered, and at the end of the camp term, I received the “Best Smile” award. I still remember standing in front of all the campers and parents at the closing ceremony proudly displaying my ribbon for all to see.
Yet, on the other hand, I’ll never forget being a new director for a cosmetic company. My senior national director was in town, speaking at an event. The gal next to me asked a question during the presentation, so I answered with a whisper. My director singled me out in front of the entire crowd: “Pam, you used to be a teacher. You should know better than to talk while someone else is speaking.”
How do your words make others feel? Empowered? Disgraced? Thirty years from now, will you be honored as a woman who used her tongue to create blue-ribbon memories?
Darnell entered the Lord’s presence last week. When I heard the news, I literally stopped and put a big ol’ smile across my face and whispered, “This is for you, Darnell. Thanks for shaping who I was then and who I am becoming today.”
Words – they’re like a boulder in the river, redirecting the course of one’s life while depositing warm fuzzies for a lifetime.
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