(photo credit: Ioanna Raptis)
I read this article yesterday about Operation Beautiful at York Middle School. To summarize, these girls took the idea of Operation Beautiful, leaving encouraging sticky notes around for other girls, and decided to paint permanent ones in their middle school bathrooms. So after school, the fifth grade girls worked with the eighth grade girls to cover the walls with words that build up.
I didn’t look in the mirror in middle school much, especially not in the school bathroom. But I read every word you put in front of me. I’d have read those sticky notes. And then maybe I would have been okay looking in the mirror.
Teen Annie would have loved this campaign. It’s so powerful.
I wonder if you have a teenager in your house or in your life that needs you to write on her walls?
“It’s going to be okay!”
“You are the cutest!”
“God did good work when He made you!”
“You are loved!”
This isn’t a profound thought – it is what the Bible has said all along. Words kill, and words give life (Proverbs 18:21). And middle school girls kind of have a master’s degree in words of death, but these girls? And the Operation Beautiful girls? They are doing it different and they are doing it right.
It doesn’t take much. I can’t tell you how many times I wrote that in Speak Love – IT DOESN’T TAKE A BOOK TO CHANGE SOMEONE’S LIFE, IT TAKES A SENTENCE.
Kind words are like honey (Proverbs 16:24) and it doesn’t take a lot of honey to sweeten a situation.
But trust me when I say, even if school is out and she’s not around the bully, and even if she isn’t saying it out loud, and even if she has great self-esteem, your teen girl could use some honey dripping into her soul.
Will you write on her walls?
Will you say the thing that gives long term hope and love?
Will you sticky note her life with words of love?
I’ve shoved some sticky notes in my purse today and I just may be that girl who puts a word of encouragement on the bathroom mirror when I meet a friend for lunch. Or I may just hand a few notes to the girls I’m meeting for manicures this afternoon.
All I know is that this world is full of ugly words meant to destroy the hearts of the young women in your life.
Be the voice of truth. Be the voice of reason. Be the voice of love.
Write on her walls.