(From the book, Sixty Days of Grace, by Dorothy Ruppert)
Hearing my teenage granddaughter repeat to others the little tidbits of wisdom that I have said to her brings joy to my heart. I want to have the assurance that living with me is making a positive impact on her. It’s a privilege to be in a position to teach her about life, but I honestly believe I’m learning more from her than she is from me.
One day I was driving her to school, still wearing my plaid flannel pajamas hidden under my long winter coat with the pant legs tucked into my snow boots. She had missed the bus that day, and I was not happy. Outwardly I was quiet, but inwardly I was grumbling about the inconvenience of this unplanned trip in the February sub-zero cold so common to Minnesota.
“How can anyone look at this beauty and not know there’s a God!” she exclaimed.
She was repeating something I’d said to her. Several times while driving in the car I’d directed her attention to the beauty of nature—the fall colors, a summer sunset, a full moon, or the lights of the city twinkling on the surface of the lake at night.
But that morning, I paid no attention to the spectacular sunrise as it reflected off the fluffy eastern clouds in hues of orange, yellow, red, and purple. Nor did I see the sparkle of the freshly fallen snowflakes, which covered the dirty snowbanks that had accumulated throughout the season. My foot was on the gas pedal, my hand was on the car heater dial, my eyes were on the road, but my mind was on getting back to a warm house as quickly as possible. Suddenly, I looked—I really looked—at the spectacular sky, and my demeanor immediately changed.
This got me thinking about the power of the spoken word, and in particular, the power of my words to my granddaughter. How important are those grace-filled words we say to one another. As a reward, they boomerang. I wondered, had I verbalized the murmuring of my heart that morning, would she have noticed the compelling sunrise? Instead of grace, what would’ve boomeranged?
From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. (James 3:10)