What Might Soothe Their Wounds
By Janet Perez Eckles -
Some months ago after a visit to my doctor, I stopped by the receptionist counter. “Is this all I need?” She placed papers in my hand, “Sure is, have a great day.” Her tone rang with tenderness.
“Thank you,” I said, leaning toward the desk. “Stay as sweet as you are.”
After a few moments, she said, “That is the nicest thing I heard in a long time.” Her voice choked.
I’d not said anything profound or particularly complimentary. But I was touched, really touched but also intensely enlightened.
How could a few words evoke such reactions in others? How can our tone accompanying our words stir a response of gratitude, or even a reaction of admiration and gladness?
Words hold power, often greater than swords in our hands. Those words that slip from our tongue, those letters that we string together in emails, those responses to telemarketers or drivers on the road, even to those we love either plant a sweet scent of encouragement or drip dark gloom into someone’s day.
A friend of mine begins her emails with: Hello dear sweet Janet.” A warm wave of delight caresses my heart when reading her greeting. And in turn, prompts me to ripple that same feeling to someone else.
Conversely, confessing my faults, I’ve had moments when the words I poured out spurred ugly regret. Words to friends, hubby and even my children. And while turning the pages of the album of my heart, I wonder what words ring in my sons’ ears, or echo still?
Not long ago, I asked them. “Hey guys, do you remember the notes I used to Scotch tape to your pillows?”
“Got every one of them. I saved them mom,” my oldest son said.
“I remember the notes that you’d put in our lunch boxes,” chimed my twenty-five year old.”
They remember, I thought with delight. Like a soft Fall breeze, gladness swept over me. They may have forgotten moments when I blurted instructions, quick demands, and harsh scoldings. But something prompted me to spend those few seconds jotting simple words on a piece of paper and stuff them in their lunch boxes. Perhaps it was an attempt to fill the role of a good mom, or to make-up for my feelings of inadequacies, insecurities.
Or just a tug at my heart, wanting them to know they were loved, really loved.
As they got older, longer notes that expanded on life’s insights, admonishments and praises for their achievements waited for them on their pillows.
Words whether written or said, can transform and turn wounds to healing, dark moments into hope, defeat into victory and even despair into joy. Struggles and fears abound, they did for my sons. And also swirl in the lives of those we touch. The words we sprinkle might just be the balm that soothes their broken world.
“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:1).