Every day, when we watch T.V., check our social media accounts, or watch the billboards as we drive by on the highway, we are bombarded with stories of extraordinary people. So much so, that we are tempted to believe, that in order to have value – we must be sensational, or above average, and maybe even perfect. But when we read scripture, we see a different story. We read stories of women like Deborah, Ruth, and Esther. Woman who were brave, faithful to family, and humble. We find in scripture that it is the “ordinary” life that makes us Christ-like. It is seeing the beauty of God in everyday things, that helps us to be effective disciples. Bread, wine, and water transform us as God’s people in ways we could never imagine. In the same way, so does parenting, working a job, and teaching children. Today, I want to share with you the story of Esther… from Dayspring. Our Director of Children’s Ministry. Esther has an amazing passion for her family, the children of Dayspring, and the parents who love those children. I hope you see the joy of this story of ordinary discipleship in this beautiful testimony from Esther Brown.
My son, Samuel, has been going to speech therapy for the last 4 months. Due to being born with a cleft lip and palate, Samuel has developed a lateral lisp that pushes air to the sides of his mouth rather than straight down the middle. So each week we go, we learn new ways to help Samuel align his airflow and tongue to the middle of his mouth. You could call it realignment of his tongue. The realignment of his speech takes daily diligence, intentional effort, and frequent reminders not to go back to bad habits.
As I go with him from week to week, I can’t help but think about my own “realignment”. No, I don’t have trouble making my “s” sound, but I do have trouble aligning the words of my mouth with the truth that comes from God. More often than not, I find my words tearing down instead of building up, and I discover myself having to put forth intentional effort to keep from saying words that are unnecessary, hurtful or rude. It takes daily diligence, intentional effort, and frequent reminders not to stay in the rhythm of careless speech.
Proverbs 12:18 shares powerful wisdom when it comes to our words. King Solomon wrote “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” All of us have experienced this on both the receiving and giving ends of the spectrum. We have experienced the piercing pain of words that can never be revoked, released the blow of unkind words that you wish would never have come out, or fought back the tears due to someone’s reckless speech. Our reckless words pierce like a sword. BUT, the opposite has healing effects. The tongue of the wise brings healing. I thank God for the people who have brought healing to my hurt through their thoughtful words. The words of encouragement that showed me the most authentic love of God when I couldn’t see it, or the joyful greeting on a gloomy day, or the simple story that brings tears of laughter that rejuvenate the soul. The generous words of dear friends have healed the wounds of my soul and lifted the weight of worry that I so often feel. I don’t know about you, but I prefer healing over wounding, laughter over tears and joy over yelling any day.
As you continue on your day today, my prayer is that God would use you to speak words of healing. Maybe it is words to help your coworker heal from the hurt that you didn’t even know they are facing. Maybe it is words to show your child their value- both to you and to their Heavenly Father. Maybe it is words to show your spouse that they matter. Maybe it is not words, but silence, to keep from further wounding someone that is already struggling. Speak with truth and love, and watch God use your words to heal those around you.