Chaplain's Corner – Senior School

Last year the phrase ‘a pair of doughnuts’ would have seemed somewhat ho-hum. But that phrase in Victoria now evokes collective happiness and satisfaction. The context and tone of our words makes all the difference. The ability to use words to convey our thoughts is something we can take for granted – until we lose our voice, or we encounter someone who is not able to use words. Then we realise what a precious gift it is. My 17-month-old grandson is starting to attempt some basic words. He can now say ‘Pop’. Who would have thought that a simple three-letter word from a toddler could cause me such joy? And yet it does. Such is the power of a simple word.

As the bible says, ‘our words have power’. Power to bless and encourage but also power to cut down and humiliate. Most of us would have experienced both the strength that well-chosen and beautifully motivated words can give, but also the hurt that ill-considered or even deliberately spiteful words can cause. And who amongst us has not regretted words spoken in haste or anger?

The bible gives some good advice: ‘be quick to listen and slow to speak’. May the power of our words be a means of encouragement and affirmation. May we speak the truth in love and may others be blessed by what we say. If we do say the wrong thing (as we all inevitably will at some stage) then we apologise.

May God’s peace and wisdom be with you in these days in which there is so much happening. May we influence our network with words of grace and encouragement – because that is what everyone needs, especially in these days.


Gerry Riviere
Senior School Chaplain