I missed worship services this week because my husband and I were at the Homestead celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. But I caught up with the podcast. I was a bit surprised at just how muchit still felt like worship.

This may be because words, whether written or spoken,have great power for me. How I admire Queen Esther for acting on the admonition of her Uncle Mordecai andspeaking up, because “who knows but that you have come to royal positionfor such a time as this.” Esther 4:14

I have experienced the just-right timing of words in my life, mostly written words. Notes, cards and emails I have receivedthat have come just at the right moment. And I have written some thatseemed to have more power than they deserved. Certainly more than I wrote into them. But I’ll confess: written words are safe for me. I can edit them and get them just right before anyone reads them. Or I can tuck them away where no one can read them.

Spoken words, though, are a bit more dangerous. Once you speak them, you can’t take them back. I expect I am not so timely with my spoken words. If I am feeling bold, I say more than I should. My children tell me they’d like to push the “fast forward” button. My husband asks if I can’t please just “speak in outline form.” But if I’m afraid or unsure, Itend tolose my voice, and sometimesthat’s a shame because that’s when God speaks up for us.

This, I expect,is what Esther experienced. This is what I came to know just a few years ago. And it probably was the most loving thing I’ve ever done for myself and my family. It guided us along the path that, this weekend, found its way to the Homestead. We ate lunch by a picture window that looked out over the foothills of the Blue Ridges. Before us, on the lawn, was a huge set of chess pieces. I set them up to mark the moment.

The bell hop came Sunday morning to collect the luggage. He asked the question everyone asks, “So what brings you to the Homestead?”

“We’re celebrating our 25th anniversary,” I told him. He smiled saying, “It’s my anniversary, too. Two years. Every bit of it a blessing; she’s made a better man of me.” I had to smile at that. My husband was off in search of his golf clubs or Iprobably would have been guilty of the eyebrow raise in his direction.

It’s a funny thing, speaking up. I told my dear friend that I wondered if my husband saw me differently these days. She, in her wonderful, loving and honestway spokeapt words,”Maybe by looking at youhe sees himself differently.That’s what we all pray for.”

It is indeed. What a privilege to beable to provide areflection which allowsothersto see themselves the way God sees them.

“Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely” Psalm 139:4

~ Wendy LeBolt

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