I was planning to share a very ordinary and wonderfully uneventful afternoon feeding the birds. Still am. It wasn't until a conversation at the store earlier that though, that I realized how eventful it actually was. While checking out I was visiting with the cashier and noticed her name tag. It read 'Jinks.' I commented that it was a great tag and there was a story there. She said, no really, it's my name. She went on to say that her father thought he was done with babies and then she came along. He figured he was jinxed. I guess he thought that was funny. As we talked though she noticed an error she made typing in a code, shook her head, and said, "See, I am just a jinx. Name fits"
People, hear this.
In that moment it was driven home to me better than any parenting book I have read how powerful our words can be, how they can build up little people or break them down. Forever. Somehow, in her mind, there was more to the name than a funny joke. There was a message, still intact and in force, many decades later.
I think of the words that flow from me regularly. I think of St James saying that blessing and cursing come from the same mouth and that this should not be. "Can fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?"
It's easy to be gentle spirited on days like these. Not as easy when the going gets rough, when things are less than idyllic. Stories like these remind me to be more mindful, less flippant, and not to assume that our words won't be taken literally in growing hearts.
Afternoons like these are not optional. It is necessary, all this tying of heartstrings. It affirms to a child over and over that no matter what the circumstances of our lives when they entered into the story it all got a whole lot better by them being there.
No jinxes. No mistakes. We are blessed and not cursed. Oh that our words would always reflect that.