On Pentecost (May 15th) we heard tell how the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered to speak so that people from all the world could understand them (Acts 2:1-21)
We tend to focus on the power of the Holy Spirit, or the absolute inadequacy of the disciples, or the amazing phenomenon of speaking in “tongues” – but what about the actual words that were spoken? This was Peter’s first public sermon – his debut and coming-out – what does he choose to say?
As a faithful parent, what do you choose to say to your child? Our words matter. The words we choose NOT to say also matter. (I just saw a post that said “Knowledge is having the words. Wisdom is choosing when to speak.” Amen!)
Fortunately, I believe we are long past the day when we thought it was true that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” We know that the opposite is, in fact, much more true – in part, because words wound in secret and invisibly (until the wounded one uses them, or acts out, or disappears before our very eyes).
We are all called to speak the truth in love – with love being the activating force. What builds up? What affirms and draws out that which is beautiful and courageous and steadfast?
Each one of us has been formed by the words spoken to us – all of them and most especially the ones we absorb when we’re young. Which words do you choose to repeat? Which words need to be silenced? What shall you pass on?
If the words you are about to speak this day to your child were your first sermon, your first public pronouncement, your one-and-only shot at brilliance and wisdom, what would you say?