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Cars and a Little Boy’s Words

By Marlene Houk

Burke Countymarlene houk

“Lightning McQueen!” My friend’s four-year-old exclaimed. His body stilled as he stared at a book of puzzles from his favorite movie, Cars. He is quickly searching his 1,600-word vocabulary, scanning for words to express his delight at his present. The plastic covering flew off, and he turned the pages, as he quietly stated his favorite page, Jackson Storm.
And I marveled at his ability to use words that revealed his emotions, his knowledge, and his experiences.

Even before birth, babies have an in-born ability to learn and use language. “More than our upright posture, the opposing thumb, and any other human ability, our language capacity mirrors our Creator.” Says John W. Oller, Jr., professor of Communicative Disorders at the University of Louisiana and widely acclaimed researcher and change agent for education for more than five decades. In fact, as Dr. Oller states in another article on the website, “We do not find languages lying around, like flowers in the desert or gems at the bottom of the ocean. Miracles aside, to acquire a language, every human must begin life with the human language capacity already within them, and then they must be exposed to the conventional uses of their language.”

Jesus Christ, who spoke into existence our universe, is called the Word in John chapter 1. How incredibly breath-taking that He would grant us the privilege of reflecting His glory by allowing us to use words. In addition to this marvelous capacity, the Word Himself lives within us. Words can kindle a great fire of hatred, create a wall of refuge and comfort, or become iconic calls to honor and courage. But, transcending this power, our words can point others to Christ and give them eternal hope in a time of crisis.

An example of this power of words to share the Gospel grew into a rich harvest recently through the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. They report that “More than 191,000 people have visited these sites [special web pages created to address fears related to the Coronavirus], with over 11,000 people indicating decisions for Jesus Christ and 2,200-plus requesting follow-up.” And eternity is changed because we are created with an ability to show others the gift of eternal life and the hope that is born from their new relationship with Jesus.

Indeed, as an article on PsychCentral states, “According to Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman, words can literally change your brain.” They explain, “Positive words, such as “peace” and “love,” can alter the expression of genes, strengthening areas in our frontal lobes and promoting the brain’s cognitive functioning. They propel the motivational centers of the brain into action, according to the authors, and build resiliency.”

The Lord has given us an amazing ability to reflect Him through our use of words. He has created perhaps the most stunning system in the universe through the 6,912 recorded languages. Words stir us. Words change our world. Words give us pleasure. But the greatest use of our words is for Jesus Christ.

“She gave me a puzzle-book and a real book, and Playdough.” My little friend said to my husband over the phone, a person he had never met. But the power of his words brought a smile to my husband, to me, to his Grammie, his aunt, and to all who heard him. Thank you, Jesus, that you are the Word, and that I can reflect you when I speak. “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)

Note: To witness more of the power of words, watch “When the World Is Shaken” on






Marlene is an author and teacher of Bible studies. She may be reached at

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Blue Ridge Christian News covers Avery County, Burke County, McDowell County, Mitchell County, Yancey County, and Madison County in North Carolina, and Christian news from around the country.