Words of blessing, allowed to sift into a soul’s murky depths, often act like yeast. Over time, these yeast-like words have the power to activate and give rise to areas of giftedness which otherwise might have lain dormant. Words can cause people to rise and expand and yield more than they ever thought possible.
Let me give you a few examples of some yeast-like words, which were sprinkled into the mixing bowl of my formative years.
- When I was about thirteen, my mom picked me up from my friend, Jackie’s house. At the door, Jackie’s mom said to my mom, “I think that someday Shannon is going to marry some successful, hard-working man, and be the bright spot in his day!” Before this, I had never considered what sort of wife I might be. These words sank deep into me. Might I be the sort of wife someday who could bring encouragement and smiles to a hardworking man?
- When I was about sixteen, our speaker at camp, Ken Rudolph, talked with me after a camp fire. He said, “Shannon, I think you’re the cream of the crop. You have the potential to become a leader in this youth group! I think God wants to use you!” At this point, I was more likely to sit in the back row and lead in note passing and snickering. It intrigued me that Pastor Rudolph saw potential for leadership in me, which I certainly did not see in myself! I pondered his words, and turned them over in my mind for many years.
- When I was about twenty, I was working as a camp counselor. One day our camp director,
Chris Brauns, asked me how I had helped the girls in my cabin to remember something. I told him I had made up little object lesson stories, which seemed to help the girls. Chris said, “Shannon, not everyone can make up stories like that. This is a gift that God has given you. Isn’t it great that He has given you opportunity to develop your gifts, here at Camp? You should begin writing some of those down.” I had never considered storytelling a gift before. Chris’s words were interesting to me, and I did start writing my little stories down.
Each of these people shared with me something that they saw me becoming. Their words, like yeast, began to cultivate the ingredients which God had stirred into the individual recipe he used to create me. That’s what words of blessing do! They have the power to help potential rise up, for the glory of God.
Today, I am a wife who (hopefully!) brings encouragement to a hard-working man. I am a leader in various groups and ministries. And I am a writer. These all give testimony to the power of words.
Your words of blessing can have the same yeast-like effect. What words can you purposefully sprinkle into the life of someone else today, to bring rise to the potential you see?
This is so great. So true. Applying this to parents: When I was a little girl, I loved tape recording various conversations in our car. In one conversation, we were discussing the bad choices that a young man was making. I asked my mom if she thought my brothers and I would make those same bad choices. She immediately said something like, “No, I don't think you will. I see that all of you kids want to please God and I don't see you making poor choices that will displease God.”
I point back to those types of conversations, with our parents believing that we would love and obey God, as one of the reasons that my brothers and I sought to love and obey God all of our lives.
I praise God for parents who put positive, righteous thoughts into our lives! Parents who were diligent to teach their children, in word and example, what it means to serve God.
What a beautiful tribute, Heidi. Your parents are very special people! But I must say… the thought of my kids tape recording me in the car is a bit intimidating! Do you still make this a habit? ha ha
Ha! Very true.
If Emilia had a way to record stuff, I'm sure she'd be doing the same thing. 🙂