“Words, words, words. Our society is full of words: on billboards, on television screens, in newspapers and books. Words whispered, shouted, and sung. Words that move, dance, and change in size and color. Words that say, ‘Taste me, smell me, eat me, drink me, sleep with me,’ but most of all, ‘buy me.’ With so many words around us, we quickly say: ‘Well, they’re just words.’ Thus, words have lost much of their power.
Still, the word has the power to create. When God speaks, God creates. When God says, ‘Let there be light’ (Genesis 1:3), light is. God speaks light. For God, speaking and creating are the same. It is this creative power of the word we need to reclaim. What we say is very important. When we say, ‘I love you,’ and say it from the heart, we can give another person new life, new hope, new courage. When we say, ‘I hate you,’ we can destroy another person. Let’s watch our words” (Henri Nouwen).
Choose your words carefully. Speak life and not death. Speak hope and not despair.
Even your lack of words can have tremendous power. Your choosing to ignore someone sends a more powerful message than any words of hate ever could.
So choose words that head and not harm. Choose words that will build up and not tear down.
That’s all I have on this Thursday evening in February.