Only A Moment

I was a little girl.  Years ago, second grade.  Still considered the new kid at school.  One that didn't really fit in.  My last name was "Stuck" so you can just imagine the taunting I heard.  My uniform was never just right when compared with the other girls.  I went to daycare because both my parents worked.  My size didn't help.  Always the shortest and always placed at the front of the line.  I wore red converse high tops.  Girls just didn't do that. 

I tried.  More like strived to please my parents, the teacher.  Oh how I loved every one of my teachers.  Really.  There was never one I couldn't impress with my politeness, willingness to do right or the lengths I would go to lend a helping hand.  To them at least all was well.  What they didn't see were the brief moments on the playground.  Or when they turned their back.  Someone mouthing "teacher's pet".  Blocking my seat so I couldn't sit down.  The name calling.  Shorty, Stuck in the mud, goody too-shoos.  I heard it all. 

Most days I would cry into my pillow.  Sometimes I would share my sorrows with my Dad.  Nearly every time I did he would say, "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me".  While the adage attempts to be a band aid and belittle the words spoken, those of us that have lived through this know that isn't always the case.  My father's intent was pure and I am certain that he didn't want to see me hurt anymore than I wanted to hear those words.  There just wasn't anyway to make it better.  I was scarred.  It only took a moment.  An indifferent word spoken by a child who didn't know any better.  Who maybe didn't realize the impact their words would carry.  A memory that goes far beyond any schoolyard.  Moments carried into my adulthood. 
I have grown up and yet those moments are all part of my story.  They helped shape the person I am today.  Whether given great power or stuffed away and forgotten it all happened.  I heard every last syllable uttered.  And yes, those words along with countless other moments, both the positive and negative are forever.  I've learned and processed and  healed.  I have also been on the other side.  The one who spoke those words, decided rather indifferently not to and ignored the opportunity to build up in place of tearing down.  Not so proud of that. 

Yet here I sit again and the picture focuses clear in my mind, me, alone at recess or lunch time, reading a book and wanting nothing more than to be included in the game they're all playing.  Only this time it doesn't happen.  Just like it didn't then.  And then it disappears and I remember I am an adult now, a wife, a parent.  The responsibility has fallen on me.  My idle words are the ones I will be held accountable for, Matthew 12:42.  It only takes a moment for them to leave my lips and float into some one's heart, leaving an impression to last a lifetime.  Will I choose the words that make souls stronger?  Or the actions that have eternal impact?  I pray I do.  You can too.  It is our privilege to have the ability to make a difference in just a minute.  To be inspired I suggest you take a look at the video below by Dr. Wess Stafford, president of Compassion International and author of a new book entitled, "Just a Minute".  He highlights all the ways we can do the above in "Just a Minute".  It is mind boggling that in a mere 60 seconds we hold that sort of life altering empowerment.  Only through Christ. 

4 Response to "Only A Moment"

  1. brimichelle Says:

    I really loved this, "Will I choose the words that make souls stronger?" What an incredible challenge. Thank you for sharing your story with us!

  2. LKH Says:

    Thank you for taking the time to read and join us here at six hansons. Appreciate the comment, blessings to you.

  3. 4granted Says:

    Just a Minute didn’t just touch my heart, it stirred me to action. It’s a great collection of stories of pivotal moments when someone spoke a word of encouragement, or noticed a child, or named that child’s strength—and the results lasted forever. After being inspired by these stories, I decided it wouldn’t take much for me to offer that kind of encouragement. I have been much more intentional, since I read this book, in slowing down a little, making time in my life to give love and attention to children--my own teenagers, a friend's preschoolers, even children I don't know but happen to encounter in my daily life.

  4. LKH Says:

    Powerful words 4Granted, thank you for sharing how the book has touched you and what encouragement that we can all make that difference, not only within our own families but even the strangers we encounter daily. Thank you for taking the time to read and visit us here at SixHansons.

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