The Magic of Golden Apples

February 19, 2020 by Robert (Bob) W. Jones


Do you ever feel you are living in Narnia?

The writing life can feel like the cursed kingdom born in the imagination of Clive Staples Lewis where it’s always winter and never Christmas. Spirits sag. Exhaustion sets in. The forecast is for more snow and cold of the emotional kind. Are you living or renting space in such a place?

Narnia’s spell was conquered by the “deep magic from before the dawn of time” and the inhabitants could finally brighten their dark days. Words are the source of a deep magic for my writer’s Narnia. Gary Chapman lists words of affirmation as one of his five love languages. Affirmation is the language of my soul.

Words of affirmation are refreshing—invigorating. The right words at the right time from the right person are like gold. The sage of the ancient Book of Proverbs opined, “Words fitly spoken are like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”

The proverb suggests the esteem Solomon placed upon well-chosen words. In his day, when a banquet was given by an Eastern king it was customary to present each guest with a golden apple. These golden apples were placed upon the tables in lovely baskets of silver filigree work and then through the meshes the glittering fruit delighted the guests.

My spirit and writing are rejuvenated through words fitly spoken or written.

Hugh Macmillan says, “The term translated ‘fitly’ is a very curious one in the original Hebrew. It signifies ‘wheels,’ and means a word that rolled smoothly and pleasantly from the lips of the speaker to the ears of the hearer. The wise man says that each of your words should be like a vehicle on easy-going wheels, so smooth and courteous that it would produce no jar or shock to either speaker or hearer; not hurt by any harshness or roughness, or leave a painful rut behind in the memory.”

Case in point. Vahen King is the first Miss Wheelchair Canada, and founder of Going Farther. I admire her grit and grace. Vahen invited me to organize a mental health conference with her for Bell Let’s Talk Day in Edmonton. She invited me to be the closing speaker. The day following the conference she posted on Facebook,

“Bob was REMARKABLE yesterday, and I couldn’t think of a better way to end our day, he was funny, engaging, powerful, and challenged us in MANY ways.”

Vahen described me as “funny.” Her comment was like a gold star. It’s important to me as a speaker to hear people laugh. It’s a signal that they are emotionally engaged. I’m not naturally funny so I have to work at it. I don’t always succeed.

I like the words of one unknown author:

“Bring me all the flowers today,
Whether pink, or rose, or red.
I’d rather have just one blossom now
Then a whole truckload
When I’m dead.”

Apples of gold, blossoms of pink, or words of affirmation—they are the magic that breaks the curse of a Narnian winter in a writer’s soul.

About this Contributor

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Robert (Bob) W. Jones is a recovering perfectionist, who collects Coca-Cola memorabilia and drinks Iced Tea. His office walls are adorned with his sons’ framed football jerseys, and his library shelves, with soul food. He writes to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose.
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