May Your Name Be Safe in My Mouth

“When someone loves you the way they say your name is different.  You just know your name is safe in their mouth.”  –Billy, age 5

Ever since I read this quote about ten years ago, I’ve used it as a guide for examining my speech.  If I want to love my neighbor and my enemy (and I do), Billy’s standard reveals exactly how well or how poorly I’m doing.  I want every name to be safe in my mouth.  Even when I’m angry. Disappointed.  Fearful about what will happen next.

When we hold others’ names, keeping them safe in our mouths, we reverence them and protect their dignity.

May your name always be safe in my mouth.


speech-silenceThis is the second post in a  40 day Lenten series on speech and silence (see A Lenten Invitation from a Babbling Brook: Focus on Speech and Silence). To receive each new installment, you’re invited to put your email address in the Follow Sparrowfare box in the sidebar.  We’d love to have you join us.  And do like and share the posts that speak to you.  Spread the word about the importance of our words!



Photo by Zivilie Arunas on Unsplash.


2 thoughts on “May Your Name Be Safe in My Mouth

  1. As I sit here at school waiting for the kids to return from their PE class I ponder this. I am inspired to be more aware of just how I call on a youngster. How do I honor them when I utter their name?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was at school today as well. Thanks for that reply–yes! And how we speak at meetings when we’re creating plans for the challenging ones. “The least of these.”


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