” . . . out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”  Luke 6:45

Standing near the kitchen counter in the morning, Levi grabs a sippy-cup of warm milk and hands it to Isaiah.

“Air, Yay-yah,” he says, holding out the cup.  He does this to make sure he gets the cup HE prefers, but still, the sounds are sweet.

Taking the cup, Isaiah offers a sincere, “Tank-ooo,” before waddling off for his morning diaper change.


They talk to each other now – these two boys who shared a womb in near-silence for close to nine months.  They call each other by poorly pronounced names and share a common code of words – a language only I and a few closest to them can decipher.

I adore their speech, the accuracy with which they mimic the tone and shape of the things we say, the way they shush, chide and encourage each other.  Most of all, though, I love the way their hearts shine through each syllable.  They haven’t yet learned to guard their tongues, from good or bad, so a purity of emotion simmers under every word, unhindered.

I wonder if this isn’t somehow close to what the Quakers are trying to get at with the idea of simplicity of speech – speech that rises from and flows out of the deepest truths of our lives.  It’s a language I’m learning to embrace again now as an adult as I clear away the clutter and make room for those simple, shining words that rise and bless.  


The other day, Isaiah with his lovely, round, shining eyes and big-toothed grin, his double-dimpled smile flashing, made a proclamation,

“Berry happy, me!”

It bubbled up out of him, like steam from a boiling kettle, a pure and shining declaration of joy that lay over me like a blessing pronounced.

This post is linked with  Playdates with God.

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