Have you ever been hurt by an unkind word said about you?
The only hurt worse than that is the hurt you feel when the unkind word is said about someone you love—especially one of your children.
“Sticks and stones will break my bones but words can never hurt me.”
So. Not. True.
A recent supper-table conversation:
“Mom, do you know __________?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
(He explained who he was talking about.)
“Oh, o.k. Why?”
“We’ll, he told me today that his grandmother doesn’t like me.”
“Why doesn’t she like you? What exactly did he say that she said about you?”
“We’ll, he just said she doesn’t like the way I act.”
“What did she mean?”
“Uhm, I don’t really know.”
At this point a lot of things were going through my head and my heart. I look at this boy, soul-bare, flush-faced, stinging-eyes, picking at his food with his fork, fighting to disguise his hurt, wondering what I should say. He’s wondering, too, as are five other tender hearts gathered around the table.
My flesh wants to throw arrows and fire canons.
I take a deep breath. I breathe in grace and breathe out praise.
4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-6
I speak. They listen.
“Maybe he made that up. Maybe he misunderstood what she said or what she meant. Forgive him.”
“Maybe she was having a bad day and said it, but now she’s sorry for what she said. Maybe she said it, she meant it, and she’s not sorry. Forgive her.”
He said, “I know, Mom”.
My food had lost its taste. My belly was full of the rich soil of offense and bitterness was trying to take root.
I cleared the table and went to the blue chair in the corner. I picked up the book I’m currently reading and tried to begin where I had left off.
He spoke. “Let it go. Give it to me. It’s too much for you.”
He was right. He always is.
I laid down the book and my arrows.
I closed my eyes and opened my heart.
I gave it to Him.
Then He said, “Now you understand how I hurt when you speak unkind words about My children.”
I sat in the blue chair in the corner, thankful for grace and forgiveness and restoration and healing.