I recently had the pleasure of attending an event held in a very old building. While there, I couldn’t take my eyes off the floor. It was stunning.
It turns out that this wasn’t always the case.
At some point, someone decided to put carpet over this magnificent floor. Thankfully, for whatever reason, that decision was eventually reversed.
I’m sure it was easy to pull off that old carpet, making it possible to reveal what had been underneath the entire time, restoring it to how it was always meant to be seen.
If someone had painted over that floor, it would have been a different story. And what if, over the many decades this floor has existed, it had been painted over several times?
I’m no expert, but I have to wonder if that stunning floor ever would have been completely restored. I wonder if there would have always been a trace of paint left behind.
I’m thankful care was taken to preserve it even though a bad decision was made when the carpet was laid over it.
It’s simply a gorgeous floor. Its beauty is in its simplicity which allows its colors to shine forth with a vibrancy that isn’t seen that often. I’ve never seen another floor like this one, causing me to think its design is rare.
Children are beautiful with that rare innocence that is unique to the very young.
Over time, like that floor, they sometimes collect layers of life that threaten to cover up the part of them that makes their eyes light up so easily.
It’s a sad fact of life that we cannot expect to protect them from the unpleasant parts, but we can use our words to keep the shine on their joy.
And sometimes we can even treat them in such a way as to remove the film of filth before it has a chance to stick to them.
I was at a ballgame recently, watching little children play, watching their mamas cheering them on from the sidelines.
I listened to one mama as she spoke to her children. I also heard what she said about them to the other adults who were sitting in those lawn chairs beside her.
Her children heard it too.
She spoke life over them. Her words of loving kindness soaked into each of their little hearts. She gave them a gift that will always be with them, even when life is unkind to them.
I know what it’s like to have something bad said about me, something I hope will never happen to them.
I’m glad I have positive words stored up inside of me to counteract those bad ones.
I hear my mom’s voice, the voice of my grandma, and, most importantly, the Word of my Heavenly Father.
These all help cleanse me when unkindness comes my way. They help restore me back to how I was always meant to be.
As I sat in my lawn chair at that ballgame, listening to sweet words flow so easily from that mama’s mouth to the ears of her children, I couldn’t help but smile.
You see, she’s doing what comes naturally, letting what’s in her heart flow out of her mouth and onto those she loves the most.
She may not be thinking about the seeds she is planting while she’s speaking. After all, as a mama of young children it’s hard to see past the day you are living.
But I’m older than she is. I live with the regrets I have for saying the wrong things. I also, thankfully, live with gratitude for all the times I got it right.
I don’t know how many times words of love spoken by me long ago have risen to the surface, have helped to scrape away any residue of unkindness that someone carelessly left behind on my child’s heart.
I’ll never know.
But I do know what I saw at that ballgame. I saw words flow effortlessly out of that young mother, words that seemed like second nature to her.
And, for that, I’m grateful.
I’m grateful for the layers of loving kindness she is painting on her children’s hearts.
I’m grateful for the way she is, even if she isn’t aware of it now, giving them what they will need to fight against words of discouragement that life throws at all of us eventually.
The Bible instructs us to speak life.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”Ephesians 4:29
Could it really be as easy as a mama letting her children hear that she thinks they are sweeter than sugar?
I’m pretty sure it is.
Let’s open our mouths more.
Let’s allow the love in our heart to slip out.
Let’s use our words to bless others.
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