Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.
A woman came to a meeting at church one night, and she told us a hilarious but thought-provoking story. Her grown son had phoned her and said that, a few hours earlier, his almost-three-year old, who was at the stage when kids like to answer the phone, had done so. It was immediately clear that the caller was the tot’s maternal grandmother. After a few words of greeting, the toddler turned around, jabbed the phone forcefully toward her mom, and said, in an irritated tone, “It’s your moth-er!” Both parents were stunned, then amused, then embarrassed. The toddler had perfectly mimicked what she had obviously heard her parents say when they’d answered calls from grandparents.
For the woman’s son and his wife, it was a lesson in being careful about what they say and how they say it. I still laugh when I think of that story. I can picture the little tyke imitating her dad’s snippiness. But I also get it. Little ones are like sponges. They pick up tones and attitudes in addition to words. We should be careful around kids. Then again, we should be careful of what we say and how we say it around everyone. After all, we’re all God’s children.
©Carol Dean Henn, 2017
Carol Dean Henn of St. John’s Windish Lutheran Church in Bethlehem, PA