Today at a birthday party that my family and I attended, the program host asked the children for “magic words.”
One boy shouted out, “Abracadabra!” and received a prize.
Another yelled out, “Hocus pocus!” and received another prize.
A little girl said “Bibidi bobbidee boo!”, taking a page from Disney’s Cinderella, and was rewarded for her efforts.
Nathan came to the front and said:
Cathy and I were so surprised with his answer. The host, all sunshine, rainbows, and cynicism, said, “Well, that’s a given, but okay,” and gave him a prize too.
While I find it curious that the host replied the way she did, we as parents felt extremely proud of his answer. The Bible tells us in Matthew 12:34 that the mouth speaks what is inside our hearts, and we felt justified that the “magic words” we taught him were important enough for him to choose that ahead of all the other “magic words” he actually knew. (“Alakazap!” is arguably the most familiar to him; I use it as a joke to turn the red stoplight green (when, obviously, the stoplight in the other direction had already turned red.))
The Bible tells us that death and life are in the power in the tongue (Prov 18:21), and while many of us wish that “Abracadabra,” “Hocus Pocus,” and a range of other magic words – “Lengardium leviosa” comes to mind – can magically change our day for the better, the truth is, these words hold little power.
Words can, however, hold a lot of power. What comes out of our mouths represent what is in our hearts, and we can use words to lift up or tear down. Rather than use our words to wound or make life difficult for others, we can make real magic happen by encouraging people and lifting them up. When that happens, it can change one’s day for the better, and spell the difference between a regular day and a day when God used you to make Himself known to others. For me, that’s even better than magic.