Sticks and Stones

Yesterday’s sermon has been on my mind.  I thought about part of the message yesterday and woke up today with it on my mind.  Our pastor is a gifted speaker and teacher so having a sermon raise my consciousness about a particular subject is not out of the norm.  If you follow my blogs, you also know our pastor is my best friend, so I may be just a bit biased; but I don’t think so.  If you want to decide for yourself come join us at Park Circle Presbyterian Church on Sunday morning.

The sermon series has been about parts of worship and their significance.  Sunday’s subject was the benediction.  She discussed the denomination and theological meaning of benediction, but went on to talk about the last words we share with people in our lives.

I know people who have very specific things they say at the end of a phone or text conversation but use something very different if speaking in person.  I have one friend who says, “Love you” to everyone at the end of any encounter.  Some people hate the term “good bye” and only say, “See you later”.   I know people with a legacy of leaving every encounter with hostility or bitterness.

We have all heard the emotional stories of people who said something mean or didn’t say anything at all to a loved one or friend at their last encounter.  The encounter truly is their last. They carry guilt and shame and wish they could go back in time.  I lost my mother and my best friend suddenly and have replayed our last conversations over and over.  Rarely do we know a conversation will be our last.  I didn’t say I love you the last time I spoke to my mother.  I may have said it to her once after I turned 18.  You can read more about that here.

I have worked hard to be open and willing to expose myself.  I have always been able to share feeling with my children and grandchildren.   I am not a person to say I love you to everyone.  I reserve those words for those closest to me.  Those words have deep meaning for me and I don’t use them lightly.  I also have a hard time saying them.  I can write them at the end of an email or text message.  There isn’t nearly as much vulnerability there as on the phone or in person.   I am going to do better with that from now on.

Words are a powerful thing.  They can bring blessings or pain to the person hearing and the person speaking.  They can lift someone up or tear him or her down.  Most of us know an old childhood rhyme, “Stick and Stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” I know that isn’t true.  Broken bones heal much quicker than a broken spirit.

I will continue to think about the sermon and the words I say or don’t say.  I don’t want to leave anything unsaid. I want my words to have meaning.  I want my words to reflect who I am.

Do you think about the words you say to friends and family when leaving, talking on the phone, or even bedtime?   How about strangers?

This blog post is part of NaBloPoMo.  The theme for November’s NaBloPoMo is blogging for blogging’s sake.

One response

  1. Very interesting post. I tend to take people’s words literally and always have. This characteristic of mine has left me hurt on numerous occasions. Sticks and stones do hurt, but words can be just as damaging. So glad I stopped in today to read your thoughts on this subject.



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