“Fasting from words that hurt and feasting on words that nurture”
Here I am reading to my beloved little sister Patsy who seems to be focusing elsewhere! At least we are snuggled up next to each other and all encased in flannel.
My father used to say “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” It wasn’t true then and it isn’t true now. Perhaps in the 50’s we only recognized physical abuse, but today we know about emotional abuse, usually verbal. Words certainly do damage, although it may be less visible than bruises on the surface.
We all know how just hearing “there, there” can soothe our pain. We know how wonderful it feels when someone learns our name and uses it with affection. We even use special words for those closest to us signifying their place in our heart. But just as real is the pain when someone spits out our name in anger or calls us a demeaning word, “lying” or “little” or even “deplorable.”
May we pay attention to what we say. May we recognize the ways words are hurting our country and bringing division. May we find it in ourselves to use our words to heal and not to damage.