The power of the written word and spoken word can either lift us up and inspire us to new heights or it can bring us down and fill us with sadness. While I was growing up, I never heard the words: ” I believe you. I care about you. How can I help.?” In looking back over the years, I am amazed that nobody spoke the words. I think it was because I always took the initiative in doing things. Nobody had to motivate me or encourage me to become a better human being. From the time I could walk, I was so independent, adventurous, and eager to improve myself any way I could. My parents were abusive and neglectful, and the words that came from them were harsh and unkind. They were said to put me in my place and make me do what I was told to do.
In the children’s homes where I lived for eight years, I never heard the words either. There were too many of us to keep track of and too many kids acting out and causing trouble, for them to notice the kids who minded, did their chores, and got good grades. We became the invisible ones.
Because I knew how powerful words were and how it felt to be invisible, when my son was born, I often told him that I believed him. I told him often I believed in him and he too needed to believe in himself and his capabilities. From the time he was two, he was a self-starter. He created and did his own projects and took great pride in what he accomplished. He still does that today. I told my son often I cared about him. There was never any doubt in his mind that he was loved. There were times I asked him if he needed help. Most of the time he did things himself, but he always knew I was there for him when he needed help. I have never failed him in that. He is a good man, a caring man.
Even now when I hear someone say, ” I care about you,” I have a hard time believing someone actually said the words. But once I believe someone means it, my insides light up like a Christmas tree. When I feel it, I’m not hesitant or afraid to tell someone I care, because I believe words matter and the power they carry is enormous.
Jesus understood the power of words on the human heart. That is why love, forgiveness, helping others, and I believe is found so often in the words He spoke. He understood the human heart needed to hear these words in order to grow spiritually and emotionally. We need to remember to speak these words more often to others.