What would cause a woman to say she loved someone she barely met? The answer comes from a woman named Trish.

To set the scene: Years ago, Trish’s grandfather, whose first name was Clinton, lived in western Kansas. Trish didn’t remember him at all, but she always said that she loved that man.

Part of it was because she trusted the judgment of her mother and her grandmother, and they loved him a lot. But the main reason was because Grandpa Clinton made one statement about Trish that stayed with her for her whole life, even through her adulthood.

Not long before he passed away, when Trish was still very young, her mother took her to see her grandfather, who had suffered several heart attacks and was not doing well. As the story goes, Trish’s grandmother left the room for a few minutes and set her on her grandfather’s lap. Clinton set her down on the floor, and then got down on his hands and knees to crawl along with her and watch what she was doing.

When Grandma came back in the room, of course she scolded Clinton. He wasn’t supposed to be out of his chair, much less crawling on the floor. But Clinton looked up right where he was and said, “Aw, babe, isn’t she the sweetest thing you ever did see?”

Trish’s grandma told that story often through the years, and Trish loved hearing it. Sure, she felt loved by other people in her life, but there was something special, almost magical about that statement from her grandfather. Whenever she felt down or doubted herself over the years, she remembered what Grandpa Clinton had said about her, and it always made her feel good to know that there was someone out there who thought she was the sweetest thing he ever saw.

There may not be a better way than this true story to demonstrate the power of a grandfather’s words. And for all grandfathers (and grandmothers), you have that power. Sometimes it might seem your grandkids barely listen to what you say, but when there’s so much potential for good, you’d be wise to speak words of blessing and admiration to them as often as you can. Spread it like seeds of love.

You just never know. God might use something you say today to encourage a grandchild for the rest of his or her life.