"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Uncommon Understanding - Spending Treasure XVI

“Something Good About You”

How it would help in the work of the day,
As we pass by, on the busy highway,
To have someone say, without much ado:
“You know, I heard something good about you!”

When you’ve bestowed comfort to those in pain,
Or cheered one who’s lost, to take heart again,
It helps when you’re weary, to hear someone say-
“I heard something good about you today.”

When you have suffered the undeserved lick,
And harsh words around you fall fast and thick,
A friend comes and says when you’re feeling so blue:
“You know, I heard something good about you!”

And when I have covered the last rugged mile,
I know there is One who will give me the smile,
And say from a heart so kindly and true:
“Come in - I know something good about you!”

This was one of my favorite poems when I was young. When I was in junior high or maybe high school, I cut the poem out of the paper and tried to think of a creative way to display it. I’m not sure who wrote it, and please don’t beat up on me too much for any incorrect theology. ;-)

Anyway, I decided to make a small plaque with the newspaper clipping displayed on top of worn, parchment paper.  My mom had beautiful, old fashioned handwriting; so I picked out some pretty stationary and had her write the words to a song (or something) on the stationary, but I had her write the words in the form of a letter.  I just needed some words in her pretty handwriting. I also had her date the “letter” with a date from the 1800’s. I burnt the edges of the paper to make it look old and worn, or maybe like it had been salvaged from a fire. Next, I wood-burned the edges of the flat piece of wood to which I adhered the poem and letter.  I was going to shellac the pages to finish the plaque, but I never got that far. Neither did I ever get a hanger put on it. And yes, I know! It didn’t really turn out that well.

Regardless, I have kept that little plaque within close possession for all these years. I may not have always had it displayed, but there have been many times throughout the years that it has been exhibited in some strategic place in my home.  It has usually sat on a dresser or someplace like that. Recently, it has been on our bedroom window seal, but it has become one of those objects that you barely notice, simply a part of the décor that blends in and you simply don’t see anymore. 

I started thinking about my maternal grandmother the other day, and a part of who she was made me think about my little plaque. One of my fondest memories of Grandma was how she would always be sure to say something nice about you, or compliment your actions. However, she was careful to say it not to you, but to someone else. The important thing, though, was that she always made sure that the one she was talking about would hear her complimentary words. 

I love that.  I think everyone knows that remarks made to someone else about you mean so much more. I guess because one tends to believe the words must be true, or they would never be said. There would be no hidden agenda if they are said to someone else.  I guess conversely, that is why it would hurt much more if one were to hear negative remarks about oneself between two people.

After thinking about my grandma and her deliberate and uncommon habit, I decided to get out the plaque and read the little poem once again. I thought it worth a share. And while I know it may not be theologically correct (We all know our “goodness” will not get us into Heaven.) the thought behind it is so sweet and possibly just a bit rare. I love that my grandma was one of those that knew the importance of a good word. What a beautiful and thoughtful lady, with a heart of uncommon understanding…I like to think she has heard (seen) me tell you.   :-)

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