Today, as I was speaking to a friend of mine, my youngest daughter, listened on, and then turned to me as I was mid-sentence, and said, "Mom, you sound like a Pastor-Poet." To be quite honest, I have never heard the term Pastor-Poet, and quite believe, that it was an invention of her creative 12 year old mind, but may I say, given the bevy of commentary a budding almost-teen can aim at a mother, these were words were welcomed with open arms. Whatever this gracious sounding title may confer in meaning to who I am, or to the worthiness of my words, it spoke as vastly as the oceans to my sense of worth and esteem. In a word, my daughter conferred upon me the elusive "V" word...Value.
As a mother of many children, sparing you the details, as to not derail this diatribe with the horrors of child birth, or other sordid tales too long to tell; I have found myself often questioning my value, as well as the regard that I have imparted to my family. I find this is a dilemma alarmingly constant, not only among mothers, but among women, young and old, a malady of self-deprecation and perhaps it is simply a disease that is gender blind. We each wander through life with a great question mark seemingly tattooed on our hearts, and our often fragile psyche's, seeking a word, any word, that indicates we are worthy. As with this ailment of plague dimensions; self-deprecation, we often create a devastating legacy, tearing down with our own words, those we intended to build.
I have often been fascinated at the power of words, and how I, in my humanness, am more adept at using them to harm, then I am at using them to heal. As a woman who proclaims herself to be a follower of Christ, I have had to question my own willingness to take ownership of the weight of my words. If I am charged to think about what is pure, what is noble, what is lovely, admirable, excellent, then should I not also let these things come off my lips. I mean, shouldn't I be shouting them from the rooftops, or at a bare minimum, whispering them in the ears of my loved ones? What is my good report of having a God who loves me, if I do not then behave as one who is loved, and confer this love upon all those who come in to my path? In my self-deprecating arrogance, have I not conveyed that I do not agree, that I am not worthy of that love, nor is that love powerful enough to fill me, change me, and overflow out onto all those I encounter. I refuse for another day to live in such a demeaning manner, and without question, choose to affirm who I am, and thereby have words of value for those I encounter, because truly, I am in awe of the people with which I have the privilege of sharing life.
Unfortunately, as a woman of habit, sometimes habit of the negative persuasion, I must confess that believing that I, and others, are due esteem, if for no other reason than because each is a masterfully carved work of artistry, must become more than a work of head-knowledge. For this woman of humankind, it must become a work of intentionality, a discipline of the self. What is the famous quote? A picture can paint a thousand words? Pardon, if I have erred in verbiage, but as for me, I believe a word aptly spoken can create so brilliant a portraiture on the heart so as to change a life for an eternity. In my world, they are words of simplicity: the knowledge for each of my children that the last words I will say to them before they go out the door or hang up the phone will be "I love you," to my son, "You are a fine young man," to a friend, "You are amazing," to my husband, "Thank you for being so good to me."
I love the thought of a Pastor-Poet, and thinks that perhaps I would like to be one, if a pastor is simply one who gently leads others towards was is truthful, and a poet is simply one that weave verses beautiful enough to heal a heart. Then let it be so. For today, I will be content to share the wise words of a boy to his bear:
Promise me you'll always remember:
You are braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
--Christopher Robin to Pooh
I pray that though I may have failed in days past, from today and forward I will only help ALL that I encounter to know that they are so much braver, so much stronger, and so much smarter than they have dared to imagine...
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things(Philippians 4:8, NIV)