What if we were the voices?
I think back on my life, even just the past few years, & oh, those voices. Those significant voices that may not have had any idea the weight of what they were saying. Or maybe they did, & they were brave & loving & willing to be the hands, feet & voice of Jesus in another's life. Unafraid of the transformation that might occur.
A speaker I heard once said about guys ... that they will become whatever you call them. That if you choose to speak blessing over them, they will rise up to the challenge. They will want to be the man you say you see them as.
I don't think it's just true for men.
I know it isn't.
It may not always be accurate, but, oh, what if it is?
Do we realize the possible impact our words could have on any given person? What if your condescending voice was the one that stood out in the crowd & turned into a landmark of shame in a person's life? Do we comprehend the responsibility that is ours as believers? We have such opportunity for impact. We must steward it.
What if we were the voices that souls remember as leading them out of darkness? As inspiring them to dream of greater things?
I have been blessed.
I have had so many voices in my life.
How am I stewarding the wealth of blessing that has been bestowed upon me? What can I be doing with my sphere of influence?
I could be the voice.
I think of those that I remember ... the ones I see as plainly foundational to my life. Even if they were a little silly sounding.
My father, who commented on my piano fingers, & takes me with him to prayer meetings. Who always errs on the side of over-estimating me.
My mama, who has been speaking blessing over my ministry for years, before it even was the sprout it is now. Who always dared me to shoot for the big things I thought were unattainable.
The friend who saved the first chapter of a failed fiction novel I had tried to write when I was so small & full of stories of castles. She told me she was saving it for whenever I became a famous writer, because she knew it would be worth something. She didn't think my writing was worthless. How small those words were, but oh, how they have stuck with me.
The one who always reminds me of how the children flocked to me in the Dominican Republic, & tells me that she believes I can do whatever I set my mind to, & it's going to have an impact. That she knows I can get through this & do this big thing, but she loves me even if my path goes elsewhere.
The librarian who thought I would be great at her job.
The women's ministry leader that entrusted her group to me for one evening.
That whole group ... how they welcomed in their youngest member ever, I'm sure, with open arms. Invited me back. Adopted me, but as an equal. How crazy is that?
That pastor's wife who always nudges me when she thinks I need to speak up already. She always stands as a reminder that there are people who are for me & believe in me.
The mamas of the littles I watch. They trust their babies into my care & they lavish love on me. They inspire me & lift me up. They take such good care of this heart that's been placed in their midst.
Then there's this one woman who speaks nothing but big things over me when I feel so small. Dared me to pick up a guitar when my hands were feeble & fragile ... not to mention pain-filled. There is blessing in her eyes whenever she looks at me.
Those people who still say they want to see me whenever I get on a stage.
The one who dares think I'll be Speaking from it.
So many voices, so many ...
& they've stuck with me for years. These are the voices I remember when I feel I can't go on. When I'm struggling, I am reminded of my sister who said, "You can do it. I know you can." These people saw something in me that I didn't see, & they spoke into it. They blessed it. They believed in it. They believed in me. Relentlessly. & I am forever changed. Some of those voices led me down paths I wouldn't have tread otherwise.
What if we decided to be those voices? To speak light whenever we see the faintest glimmer. Let's no longer be the ones who tell others what is impossible. Let's remind them how far they've come already. Let's dare them to press on. Let's remind them of what beauty we see in their souls.
One word could have the power to change a life. So let's make our words ones of blessing.