How One Word Made Them Cry

“Well, I brought half of the group to tears.”

I summed up the recent In Real Life meetup this past weekend to my husband on Saturday evening. Before it began I wasn’t sure what the event included. (I was a newbie myself.) I didn’t know how to explain it to those coming. I didn’t know who would come. I simply didn’t know what to expect.

So this is what I got.

A group of 12 women, most newly introduced to one another, joined me in my home on a warm afternoon. With tentative small talk and a plate of delicious food we settled into the living room to find out together what the event was all about.

To get us started, we talked of the need for structure in our mornings and our days as we learned about Hello Mornings accountability. From there we touched on the life that is found in community and moved on to explore the role of mentoring in our own lives. It was great! But for me, that was not the best part.


My favorite part was when I made them all cry.

Perhaps some explanation is in order.

About halfway into the meeting, the time came for the obligatory small group “get to know you” game. Believe me, I’ve done them all over the years – answering cheesy questions or trying to find a witty fact about myself to share with strangers.

So this time I wanted to mix it up. Taking my cue from Five Minute Friday weekly blogs, I passed around a bowl of stickers, each with one random word.

Asked to select one word that spoke to them in some way – a word that held some meaning, or sparked a memory or emotion – we spent a few minutes jotting down the reason behind our choice. Then, one by one, introductions were made as we shared our word, our story.

I expected some rolled eyes, maybe some halfhearted generic responses.

Instead, with eagerness and timidity, each woman gave us a peek inside her heart by the words she shared. Beautiful words. Occasionally accompanied by tears.

  • We heard of joy when mommy likes to “Kiss” and “Play”.
  • We found out that “Dream” can be restorative to the wounded heart (and our most fought for word!)
  • There was a passion for “Learn” and hopefulness in the story of “Remember.”
  • We realized the importance of “Treasure” when you wake up in an unexpected, undesired season.
  • We witnessed and confirmed the gifting to “Create.”
  • And heard about the reach of “Touch” and the desire for “Hug.”

“A word fitly spoken in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Proverb 25:11


One word became our golden apple.

It’s the reason I frantically cleaned the house from top to bottom last week, sorting the magazines, wiping down the tops of the cabinets, re-cleaning the unused guest room, cutting fresh jasmine from the yard and burning a scented candle for the bathroom. It’s why I overbought the fancy paper plates and napkins and insisted on to-go coffee cups that included the little sleeves instead of the standard styrofoam. It was my motivation for signing up months ago to be a host, trapping myself into opening my home once again.

It was all for one little word, spoken at the right time, that opened the heart, and yes, brought a few tears to the group. It pierced the nicety of the day and it caught me off guard.

A “full” word with the heavy weight of Truth behind it spoken at the exact right time carries a burning, transforming power.


As for me, I looked at this multi-generational group of women sitting in my living room and realized I was in a season of “Grow.”

On Saturday my heart grew. I learned people have something to say, they simply need an opportunity to say it. And I learned the power of one timely, weighty little word.


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