This past week I had the pleasure of being at the Jersey Shore, thanks to the generosity of a dear friend. One of the days I sat by the ocean for several hours and just listened to the roar of the waves. Besides the beautiful sight and sound of the shore, I was reminded of how powerful the water is.
This led me to reflect on other things that are very powerful, like words. I had received an email earlier in the day that perhaps could have been written differently. I realized that words are powerful, too! They can tear down or build up people. Do I use my words carefully?
Some ordinary people who had great opportunities to use words for good are the Prophets. The words of Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, Ezekiel and Jesus are very powerful. Although they could have been viewed as condemning people, they were crying out to help others be aware of the way they were living. The Prophets spoke of being faithful to God, of loving without measure, of being steadfast in adversity, and of being more aware of life’s situations. The Prophet’s words, whether from 2,000 years ago or now, are challenging. There will always be an element of judgement in their speech, but it is be coupled with compassion -- you can’t have one without the other.
So what about you, me, all of us? How and what words do we speak? Do we encourage people or are we harsh and condemning? Are we capable of taming our tongue? (James Chapter 3 questions that.) Do we say things that later we are sorry about? Why is it easier to jump on the band wagon of hate and cruel words and actions, then to encourage people who may need the extra TLC? Are we capable of seeing an unjust situation and dealing with it in a compassionate way?
The power of water and the power of words -- I think at times it is easier to deal with the power of water. Once I remember saying to a wisdom sister that I just loved creation. Her response, “That is easy; loving people is the challenge.” She was so right, especially when we speak of how we treat one another. Spend some time this week thinking about the power of your words. Where do you see yourself on the spectrum? Can you tame your tongue? How do you wield the power of your words? Hopefully with compassion. Remember, the power lies within us.
Till next week,