Monday, April 19, 2010
Sis and I hosted a table at the annual Victorian Tea on Saturday. There were friends, and beautiful hand-me-down teacups, fresh flowers and some of Grandma’s clip-on earrings that perfectly set off the shiner under Sis’ left eye. As an almost five-year-old, the day was a dream come true of fanciness and time away from the siblings.
I had been asked to speak briefly on the topic of heritage and faith, and floated to the microphone with frosting and mid-afternoon caffeine underfoot. I shared about the heritage of faith poured into my soul by different people through their wise and timely words. And so I have been thinking about words. And how I use mine. And what I say. Particularly when I am talking to the children. Particularly when I am tired and angry.
Last Thursday Mister’s preschool teacher met me at the door with an excellent example of his emerging literacy. There were clearly formed letters at the top of the page and more at the bottom. The middle was a tangle of thoughts expressed through spirals and dots. As he worked he had told his teacher, “This is a letter of apology for my mom. She is very, very angry with me.”
I want to use my words wisely. Sparingly. Season them with scripture and sweeten them with grace. I also want to speak truthfully. Because what we say is important. And speaking out of turn can land us right in the middle of good, juicy gossip. As we were leaving for tea on Saturday, Mister was making plans with his dad to take a trailer load of yard waste to the dump. There is a tow hitch on the van for such a purpose. Mister calls it a ‘hooker’, clearly and accurately describing its purpose. So, as we were walking out the door I heard him say, “While the girls are at tea, Dad and I are going to drive the hooker van.”
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24