Words are fascinating. Words communicate so much.
Words in a book tell a story, capturing the imagination, creating images that evoke feelings. My sweetie and I were camping the first time I read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkein. Pair Tolkein’s well-written, image creating words and a vivid imagination and this person had wild dreams! It didn’t help that a thunderstorm was in the area causing the trees to creek.
Words on a sign post give information and direction. Road closed ahead. Grooved pavement. BUMP. Caution. Quilt Shop (fabric inside). Chocolate (mmmm). Wine!
Words have the power to lift up, giving life and words have the power to tear down, taking life with it. Words can build walls and bridges. Words.
Side note: I am already pondering my 2015 word of the year.
Words are important. Word with action is powerful.
Being a part of building something is incredibly beautiful. Watching it torn down with words is so incredibly painful. And wondering why is what’s left. It is a “why” that lingers. The pain of it eases over time however it still remains. Being part of and/or watching anything being torn down is painful, particularly upon understanding and living with the reality that there is nothing that you can do about it. This is a reality that happens.
In Growing Peace I shared a memory of how words paired with a deep feeling of being wounded caused so much hurt and pain.
Speaking Words of Love
Often we remain silent when we need to speak. Without words, it is hard to love well. When we say to our parents, children, lovers, or friends: “I love you very much” or “I care for you” or “I think of you often” or “You are my greatest gift,” we choose to give life.
It is not always easy to express our love directly in words. But whenever we do, we discover we have offered a blessing that will be long remembered. When a son can say to his father, “Dad, I love you,” and when a mother can say to her daughter, “Child, I love you,” a whole new blessed place can be opened up, a space where it is good to dwell. Indeed, words have the power to create life. – Henri Nouwen
Words can build, give life, encourage, heal. There is something beautiful about speaking an encouraging word. There is something amazingly beautiful about stopping someone from berating their lack of skill in a particular area. I’ve done this to myself, berated myself for a lack of skill. I’ve been stopped and I’m continuing to learn to stop myself. It’s counterproductive and builds what feels like an insurmountable wall. More and more it’s important to me to do my best to see that my words build. When I teach quilting I see how my words impact the physical posture and their perception. Watching my students relax and be kind to themselves is amazing.
I think the most important thing that Carol Brubaker – my first ever machine quilting teacher – taught us is to say, “Look what I did!” and not point out our flaws. Most people won’t see them anyway and the ones who do won’t comment on them because what they’ll see is the hard work. I look for ways to encourage my students. I look for ways to show them what they’re doing well first then show them how to correct what isn’t going well. I make a point of reminding that they’re not BAD, they’re inexperienced. There’s a huge difference.
Let the words of my mouth be acceptable,
the thoughts of my heart before you,
LORD, my rock and my redeemer