Today was a very windy day as we have a severe thunderstorm in our forecast. As I looked out the window and watched the wind whip the trees around, I thought for a moment about the power of the wind.
You can’t see the wind but it’s evident it’s there by what it does. You can feel the wind on your face during a hot summer in Texas and be relieved for that little taste of coolness on your cheek. You can watch the wind blow the new leaves all over your yard in the Fall and feel the wind move the rain so as to hit you from the sides even as you hold your umbrella. The wind can be a wonderful, beautiful power to behold. We also know that it can be a destructive force as well. Some have only witnessed the wind on TV or the internet as it blows down trees and breaks out windows; others have witnessed this power firsthand. If you have ever seen the wind beat at a tree so hard that the limbs touch the ground, you know the extreme power the wind can possess as well. Wind can be glorious and scary at the same time.
Watching the wind today made me think of how the wind is like words. A kind word at just the right time can build you up and make you feel good. Just like the wind on a hot summer’s day. A mean word can knock you down just like the destructive wind of a storm. Even a tree that’s firmly rooted can be no match for a strong enough wind at just the right time. Even so, a cruel word or action at just the right moment in a person’s life can knock down even the strongest person, leaving them defenseless.
The wind is also indirectly responsible for erosion. It picks up and carries particles from one location to the other. Sometimes this is a benefit and sometimes this is a detriment. Words are much the same. Cruel words spoken over and over in time have the ability to erode your spirit. People say if you hear something enough, you often start to believe it. If the wind knocks at something enough, it will eventually start to erode. So it is with words spoken in cruelty to a person. If they hear it enough, it will start to wear on them and they will start to be affected by it negatively.
But unlike with erosion in an object, erosion of spirit can be reversed. Kind words repeated can fill in what erosion has caused. They can be like the wind carrying seeds that will then grow in the soil of a new location. Something new and great can be created from what was once old and near destroyed.
So then I thought…We each hold within us the mighty power of the wind. We hold the power to build up and we hold the power to knock down. In some ways, our power is even greater because what we ultimately knock down means far more than material objects destroyed by wind. Not to say the wind doesn’t take lives, for we all know it can and has. Do we want to use the power of words in the calming way a nice breeze does or do we want to use them the way the wind does in a storm and tear down everything around us?
It’s your choice. No one can make the decision for you.
I want to use my words to be a comfort, though. That is my choice. What’s yours?