The Power of Words

A beautiful quilt behind the altar

A beautiful quilt behind the altar

I’m visiting my dad and his wife in Santa Fe this week, and this morning I went to church with them. There are times in my life when I’ve felt like I was “placed” somewhere at just the right time. Today was one of those times.

Why? Because the minister spoke about the power of words. What better sermon for a writer to hear than that? He started off asking:

Think about the words you’ve heard in the last week. What words did you hear?

Several people called words out:

  • fire
  • drought
  • tornadoes
  • Oklahoma City
  • cancer

I thought about the words tornado, no, lonely, friendship.

Then, he asked us to think about the words we wished we’d heard. Here’s what people called out:

  • rain
  • peace
  • love
  • compassion
  • water

I thought about understanding and yes.

As a writer, his words touched me, because I want my words to be powerful–to make a difference.

His last question was, “What words have healed your heart?”

For me, the answers were:

  • I understand.
  • I accept.

And then, I realized, that’s what The Red Kimono is all about. The desire of three young Americans to be understood and accepted.

What words have made a difference to you?

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7 Responses to The Power of Words

  1. Ruthie says:

    Your words are powerful and do make a difference. Funny how Universe works. What better sermon for a writer than The Power of Words. Gotta love it.


  2. This brings a plethora of thoughts, including the thought that words can heal or words can hurt. Sometimes it’s not even the words as much as how and when they’re spoken. Words that are written can be more difficult because you have to body language or facial expressions to go with them and provide context. Yet they can also be easier because you can think about them and make them just right before sending them. So much to consider.

    The other part of words is be someone who listens to the words someone else speaks and then to consider your words before releasing them. Listening is much more difficult to do well, I think.



  3. Erinleary says:

    For me, nothing is better when my words touch another’s heart, whether written or spoken. It feels as though I have somehow helped make the universe a better place. And when my words hurt or sting, it makes me feel diminished. They are very powerful. I loved your thought provoking post.


  4. Mendy Knott says:

    Nice post, Jan. Words prominent in m vocabulary and uppermost in my mind now: Goodbye, adventure, Blue Ridge, home, heartbreak, excitement. A new life always brings a mixed bag of words, that’s for sure.


  5. You do have a way with “words”. Thank you for the lovely post. Every writer should read and contemplate it.


  6. rgayer55 says:

    Forgiveness is beautiful word. Love is also one of my favorites.


  7. Linda Joyce says:

    “I’m sorry.”

    Linda Joyce


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