Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Examine Your Echo

January 13, 2009 IOW

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” Mother Teresa

What is it about an echo that kids love? Do they love to produce it or do they love to hear the after affects of it? Everywhere they go they don’t miss the opportunity to produce an echo.

One day at work as I was trying to accomplish a task a co-worker and I heard this horrible sound. It sounded like a kid was being tormented. With our curiosity caught and our work undone we went to investigate what it could be. Down the hall one door was the staircase leading to the second floor, evidently a kid who had come to the doctor’s office that day discovered if they stuck their head in the door on the second floor and yelled it made a fantastic echo. An echo that may have been entertaining to them but it sounded differently from the third floor.

The words we speak are definitely something that produces an echo with an after affect that can go on long after we speak. It doesn’t matter if the words are cruel or kind they can have a tendency to linger long after we have spoken. Because of this it should be important to us that what we say should be words of kindness.

The words we speak don’t necessarily have to be said in a staircase to get an echo, they can be said through our writings, our witness, and our every day speech. A simple kind word to a stranger in the grocery line can leave an echo in their lives that may travel farther than we could ever imagine.

If you think about it that is what “In Other Words” is all about, the echoes of other people. Simple sentences in the middle of a paragraph or speech that catches our attention that warrants repeating and the echo begins.

If you’ve ever had someone say something to you that was unkind the echo seems to stay in your head. Over and over again we hear the words like a tape recorder stuck on replay. However, when the words are ones of kindness the after affect of them produces a kindness that spills over to others. Short and sweet beats quick and cruel any day when it comes to the words we leave behind for others to hear. A little goes a long ways.

Still occupying a space in my Bible serving as a bookmarker lies the echo of a dear friend. Several months before her Lou Gehrig’s disease took her life she wrote me a kind note that will echo forever from the paper it’s written on. God’s word has that echo affect too and we need to realize that we too produce an echo. What that echo will be is up to us. Before we stick our head in the staircase of life and start shouting we need to think about what its going to sound like at the other end. Will it have the affect of Christ built in to its sound waves bouncing off the lives of those around us or is it all about us.

Perhaps the best thing we can do is stop, listen, and examine our own echo.

Copyright 2009 Karen J. Gillett @ Pencil Marks and Recipes Publishing


Susan said...

Hi Karen,

Wow, this was just great!! I always love reading your IOW.

Yes, our words echo, and sometimes they are drown other things out when they are negative.



MiPa said...

Lovely, lovely post. This blessed me so much. Thank you.

Joyfull said...

Thank you for sharing a beautiful post. May we truly listen for our echo.

Laurie Ann said...

Wonderful post! I loved this, "Short and sweet beats quick and cruel any day when it comes to the words we leave behind for others to hear. A little goes a long ways." So true. May my echoes always be kind...

lori said...

Karen...we were on the same page here today...words linger, good ones echo beautifully while bad ones play over and over like broken records...

Wonderful things to think about!

Esthermay said...

OH! I love your version of this quote. Taking the echo part to it's literal and figurative end is PERFECT. I do like how you characterize IOW as an echo. So many times there have been short sentences in the middle of someone's IOW that just resonate with me (negatively and positively) and that echo lasts for DAYS!
OH! ... the power of our words - both spoken and written. We have a great responsibility as Christians to make our words worthy of our namesake, Jesus Christ.
Happy IOW!
~esthermay @The Heart of a Pastor's Wife

micey said...

This is an absolutely awesome post! An echo... so true!