…Jesus said to the paralytic, “I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.” And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.” – Mark 2:10-12
When I was 11, my family toured the western U.S. with a tent, sleeping bags, and Coleman stove. On the way back east, we stopped for a few days in Erick, Oklahoma, for a family reunion to celebrate my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary. Being one of four daughters, and one of 19 grandchildren, I was just another kid wandering around among the adults.
What I remember most about that weekend in Erick is that an older cousin, Bill,who was a Baptist minister, sat down and talked to me. I don’t remember exactly what he said. What has stuck with me is that he treated me like a person and regarded the conversation as serious, not as an adult preaching to a child. I felt like I was worth something!
The paralyzed man was part of a huge crowd who gathered to see Jesus. Whether he remembered exactly what Jesus said to him, I don’t know. But there’s no doubt that he never forgot that Jesus made him whole—physically and spiritually—and restored his sense of worth.
Even though at times I have wished that I could heal another person with my words, that power is not mine. It is possible, however, for me to build up another person with carefully chosen words. If I am able to do that, I am tapping into the divine within me, channeling God’s love to another, and becoming more of the person God would have me be.
God, help me remember that my words are powerful tools. Help me to use them in the right way, and help me to always speak in a spirit of love. Amen