Reflecting on Matthew 13: 1-23
Words, words, words. Unlike Eliza Doolittle, I never get sick of words. I adore them―fat words, skinny words, funny words, and, my favorite, lovely words.
Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words can always heal us. And, like the rain that falls and never returns to heaven without nourishing the earth, a timely and wise word spoken to a child in the last century is still bearing fruit in this one.
A kind word is like that fecund seed in Jesus’ parable. It just keeps producing harvest after harvest. Here in mid-summer, with crops growing like mad―and the ever-fertile weeds growing right along with them―it’s a holy thing to recall the good words planted in us through the years, and how they have never failed to give us protection and shade in the heat of uglier, unkinder words that have traveled next to them in our hearts throughout our lives.
Here are some words spoken to me at some point that are every bit as delicious to me today as they were decades ago when I first heard them:
Ha! You’re funny.
You’re my best friend.
Tell that story again.
I love you.
Will you marry me?
There are, of course, the painful words, the critical words, but those words that at first hurt like weeds can often behave like fruitful seeds. Such is the mystery of the grace of humility; if we are open to receive it, it can produce great fruit as well.
Are you still simmering over a hurtful word from long ago? Ask God to bring back to your memory the hundreds of fruitful words that have also shaped you. Love wins over weeds.
What are some of the favorite words spoken to you in your life?
Kathy McGovern ©2017