We have an awesome responsibility for the things we write and say. I have a serious side and a "tongue in cheek" side so some of my writing you can take with a grain of salt. I trust that my readers can tell the difference and know when to take me seriously. A few months ago I had written a post about depression and the fact that I battled it for most of my life. It was one of my "serious side" posts. If I had been making light of depression or criticizing people who have it, I wonder what my words would have meant to this person who emailed me a few days ago
When I wrote that post, I remember hesitating about sharing with the world that I had dealt with clinical depression There is still a stigma attached to those words and some still tend to think it's a mental illness, a weakness or a character flaw. I have never looked at it that way. Mine is a chemical imbalance that can be treated with the help of medication just like diabetes or high blood pressure. I can just remember being very relieved when a doctor put a label on what I had been feeling and told me that 1 out of every 4 women suffer from clinical depression at some point in their lives. Depression can be a serious illness if not treated - and I would urge anyone with feelings of emptiness or hopelessness to get professional help.
I do not know Karen but she emailed me to tell me how much she appreciated what I wrote. The post was one I had written on January 27th. She told me that she had been at a very dark moment in her life and felt like there was a void inside her and that her heart felt empty. She had googled "a void feeling inside" and my post popped up. It was one I wrote titled "A void inside a void....nothingness". She had read where I had written that my faith had helped me get through some of my toughest moments. She wanted to tell me that my words had been just what she needed at the time.
Karen and I have emailed back and forth a few time in the last few days. She was wise to see a physician and she is now using her faith to get back on track. Karen has made me realize that our words are meant to bless, encourage, and lift people up, but never to tear down or destroy. We never know how God will use our words.
I found the following in a book of poetry that I have:
"But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think."
- George Gordon Byron
Choose the words you write or say carefully. You never know who will be reading them.