The older I have gotten the more I have found names like Sweetie, or Dear rolling off my tongue to complete strangers…women mind you. And if by chance I’m fortunate enough to be your friend your name might become Sweet Pea, Honey Bunny, Pumpkin or other smattering terms of endearment. Perhaps this has been handed down from my mother who gushes praises over every sales clerk or anyone for that matter that has shown her kindness… primarily referring to them as “Dear Heart”. Recently, quite unintentionally, she upped her repertoire by calling Alena one of her sweet caregivers a “Beautiful Babe”, causing the three of us to giggle.
Years earlier, I was less then thrilled when mom would declare her glowing praises and pet names to almost everyone she encountered. Allowing my schedule, or pressures of life to override my thoughts rather than taking the time to linger with the kind words she had spoken. This is not to say my heart wasn’t inclined to do so, I was just unequipped to rival my mom’s steroid induced hoopla and fanfare. Choosing not to exercise my puny praise physique preferring to risk the possibility of getting sand kicked on it instead.
Now that I’m older, I want to strengthen my love and build up my gratitude toward others carrying the torch and legacy of her exuberant encouragement. A woman who lights up faces as she sings their praises, who calls them “Dear Heart” and means it!
So it’s no surprise, the thrill my soul received to be called “Love Muffin” the other day by Judy, an adorable elderly door greeter and checker at Walmart. It felt like a comforting hug from my mom who rarely shops with me due to her health challenges. This warmhearted sentiment seems like the perfect name to call my husband, causing me to smile all the way to the return line. My heart was hoping to see her again so that I could let her know how much her affectionate name blessed me.
Finally, everything on my list was ready to be purchased, rolling up to the self checkout registers with no helpers in sight caused me to feel some apprehension…. it seems like I always need assistance with these “self checkouts” I forged ahead very timidly and began unloading my cart. Just when I lifted my honeysuckle candle to scan, there she was right next to me commenting on the lovely color. My excitement bubbled up over this divine opportunity to see Judy again. Because of her comment about the candle I raised it up for her to smell the heady aroma… once again she expressed a beautiful array of fond words, calling me Angel and Love while greeting other shoppers with equally amicable sentimentality. After bagging my last item I longed to hug her, adopt her, load her up in my cart and take her home… she touched my life, making me feel like I mattered.
Oh, the undeniable power of a kind word! Like a warm embrace on a chilly winter day or an unexpected cool breeze on a balmy summer night. Simple acts of kindness to those who cross our paths can invigorate and refresh their spirit and ours. God’s word tells us those who refresh others will too be refreshed. My mother understood that and displayed it beautifully throughout the years, even now still staying true to this while in the midst of her battle with Dementia.
Perhaps “Love Muffin” is not part of your amorous vocabulary especially if you were to say it to someone you don’t even know, but let’s be open to sharing kind words and gestures to those we come into contact, whether family, friends, or strangers. You’ll be a “Dear Heart” if you do.
Lord help the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart be acceptable to you oh Lord our Rock and Redeemer. May we love as you love and speak with tones of grace and gratitude.* “Thinking of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds”.
* Heb. 10:24
Proverbs 25:11 “A word fitly spoken, and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver”‘
Though I was not able to get a photo with Judy, the top picture is me and my mama on her 80th birthday.