The Pastor and I don’t have many absolutes in our lives. At our house you can count on things never being the same. Our schedules are always changing. One of us is likely to get called away in the middle of an event or have to rush off to work. But there is one thing you can count on. One thing that always remains the same. We cannot, I mean CANNOT, watch America’s Got Talent without both ending up in tears. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I mean, there is the kid that used to be blind; the girl who lost her hearing; the 9 year old who is getting a little sister and for goodness sake a sweet girl from my home state and her puppet. On stage stands someone who is probably in one of the most vulnerable moments of their lives. Sitting across from them are those whose job it is to pass judgement. These people muster up all the guts they can find in their body and get on stage and hope and pray that they will find success. And then, when they are finished, the most wonderful thing happens. The words are spoken.
If you’ve seen the show you know what I’m talking about. It’s more than just telling these performers they were excellent. The power of the words they speak is life changing. Because of the enormous weight with which they are delivered, the words “you are a winner” or “you have a gift” or even “you are beautiful” seem to penetrate into the very heart and soul of those on stage. You can see it in their eyes. It’s as if all the sudden they believe in the person they have always been.
And cue the tears.
Over the past few weeks the Pastor has been teaching our girls about the Sh’ma. It’s an Old Testament Scripture or prayer that contains the Greatest Commandment. And then goes on to remind God’s people to bind the words onto their hands, their foreheads, their hearts. To recite it morning and night. To never forget those important words.
It is not lost on me that the lesson in all of this is that words matter. And as someone who likes to blog and helps keep both the post office and her local Hallmark® store in business, I am a big believer in the power of the written word. But a spoken word is different. It seems to be more weighty, more full.
I hope someday I have the opportunity to speak the truth into someone’s life and change them for the better. Even more I hope someone does the same for both my girls. And I hope they learn the Sh’ma and I hope they know their own words matter. That in a digital world full of memes and gifs and over the top OMGs, that you and I and even they, will have the opportunity to look someone in the eye and tell them how incredible they are and how much they are loved. I hope none of us miss the opportunity.