Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Contagious Words, Part II

Bethie was in desperate need of a diversion. Now, I love words. So when my children lack enthusiasm (I shan't call it boredom), I invariably suggest some type of word game. To relieve Bethie of her despondency, I racked my brain for something new . . . and found something old. It was called, "Hinky-Pinky."

Bethie was quick to catch on, and soon the whole family was a part of the word war. The rhymes leaked over to Papa and Noni's house, reviving the embers of that campout from long ago. Soon emails were exchanged, leaving cryptic clues such as "single biscuit," "feather dress," and "steel teapot" (that was Bethie's!) in various family inboxes. Heads hit pillows once again with elusive words spinning and dancing.

Last week I popped into Costco with the kiddos. We had been throwing around rhymes all morning, and Bethie was still stumped as we approached the customer service desk. "Okay. Think about it -- the clue is 'female ringlet,'" I reminded her, while turning to the woman behind the counter. I managed to carry on two conversations at once -- one with Bethie guessing words, the other with the Costco employee.

"What's another word for female, Bethie?" I hinted. Aidan offered his help, too, but they were both drawing blanks. "Now you've got me curious!" came the voice from behind the counter. I spun around and quickly filled her in on the rules. She was hooked. "Girl!" she shouted, temporarily ignoring her keyboard. "Right!" I encouraged my new student. And then the words rushed and tumbled as everyone figured it out at the same time: "girl curl!" We laughed together, happy to have shared words with a not-so-strange stranger.

I wonder how often my words are heard by strangers. The Psalmist worships with the words, I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Could you imagine what it would be like if we were to take this literally? What would those around us think if only pleasant, edifying words were to fall from our lips?

When Jesus walked this earth, those in His presence were mesmerized by the truth of His word. We who have joined Jesus in His walk have the amazing privilege of sharing in that same truth. And as that truth spills from our lips in the way we speak to our children, address our spouse or even conduct a simple transaction at Costco, someone just might pull us aside and say, "Now you've got me curious!"
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