I glanced over at the customer service desk in the store where I work in time to see Marge wince with pain as she raised an arm to wave at an acquaintance. My friend and former co-worker, she had been forced to quit when unrelenting physical issues made it impossible for her to keep her job. I could hear her relating her latest health woes to the woman who had approached her. In a recent fall she had put her shoulder out, broken some ribs and severely bruised her hip. Even with a cane she could barely get around. Conversation over, she slowly made her way to the pharmacy to fill the latest round of prescriptions.
As she inched her way past me I greeted her and asked how she was doing. Having just heard her long list of physical complaints, I was shocked when she answered with a simple, “I’m good.” Obviously noting the surprise on my face, especially since she could clearly barely walk, she said, “I’m always moaning and groaning about my health issues. I’ve decided to try a different tack. From now on I’m just going to speak out good health in faith.”
“That’s the ticket!” I said in agreement.
“Are you still writing?” she asked. I nodded in the affirmative.
“Have you written about broken ribs? Write me a story about dealing with broken ribs!”
“You don’t need a story! You just spoke the answer yourself!” I called after her as she slowly hobbled off. But I needed a story…or at least a post… for the letter “P”, and suddenly was grateful to her for giving me one on the power of a positive word.
What we speak over ourselves, positively or negatively, absolutely changes the course of our lives. Marge’s positive declaration in the midst of her negative circumstances would be laughable to some, but is commendable to me in that it is the first (albeit hobbling) step on the road to success. Surely the other route hasn’t worked for her, and I’m glad a moment of revelation gave her the inspiration to try something new. I fully expect to see her walking easily through the store once more and shopping off of shelves other than those in the pharmaceutical section soon.
If what we speak over our own lives is important, what we speak into other peoples’ lives is equally as creative or destructive. One of the things I love about the A to Z Challenge is the opportunity to encourage fellow bloggers in their communication attempts. I know how much their comments have meant to me. I deliberately read them just before writing the current day’s post to set the tone for the next few minutes, to discard doubt and bolster boldness in the hope of cracking the door to creativity open a little further. And then I look to do the same for someone else.
When you go out of your way to find something good to say, you change a life in a positive way. There’s simply no better way to spend a day than that.
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people…”
(Galatians 6:10 NIV)
(Galatians 6:10 NIV)