I snuggled in under the warm quilts on my bed on that chilly night and thought to myself, “I’m going to sleep surrounded by words”. Literally.
I was visiting a dear friend and since her guest room was occupied, I got to sleep in her library. This little library is one of my favorite rooms.
When her chick left the nest a few years ago, the same year that my firstborn left, my friend turned her spare room into the most wonderful space – a book lover’s dream. There were floor to ceiling bookshelves lined with books, an elegant writing desk and a comfy chair with a reading lamp. My friend is a talented decorator so in addition to being functional, the room was gorgeous, something you would see in a magazine.
Not long after she set up her library/study, she moved to a different town in a different state. When she and her husband searched for a new home, she knew she needed a room in which she could replicate her library. They found a house with a perfect room and reconstructed the library. That is where I got to stay on my visit. That is where I went to sleep each night, surrounded by so many books, each of them full of so many words. I dare say, millions of words.
It made me think about how many words surround me on a daily basis. There are words on my computer screen and words in the novel I am reading. I see words on signs as I am driving and words on the magazines and tabloids in the grocery checkout line. I hear words on the radio and words on television. I share words with my husband, my children, my parents and my friends. My favorite words are the ones I read in my Bible! Very often, at any given moment, words are swirling around in my head, disjointed thoughts skipping from one subject to another.
Right now, in our world, there are so many angry, hate-filled words. People seem to believe the louder, angrier, brasher they are, they more likely they will be heard. We have lost civility in our words.
The Word, the Bible, has much to say about words. When my children were young, I posted Ephesians 4:29 in my kitchen as a reminder for them to speak kindly to each other. Sometimes it helped.
Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth,
but only what is good for building others up as the need may be,
that it may give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29 (WEB)
Many verses about our words are found in Proverbs. One of my favorites is Proverbs 25:11
In this loud, noisy, word-filled world I pray that my words would be pleasing to others and most of all pleasing to God.
What can you do to add pleasing words to your part of the world this week? A kind word to a server or a cashier? A note of encouragement to a teacher or coworker? A fast from complaining? Think about it. I’ll bet you can come up with something.