I have noticed lately that I have not been as kind, loving, or compassionate as I long to be. I have found myself to be impatient, acerbic, and not very pleasant. I so dislike being this way, I truly do. I understand completely when Paul says he does things he doesn't want to do and doesn't do things he desperately wants to do. I completely get it.
Words are some of the most intense weapons we have. They truly can encourage, comfort, and empower or they can destroy, negate, and horrify. They are more powerful than most of us realize. God gave me a gift with words. If I quiet my mind and open my heart, I can often find the words someone needs to hear. I can convey that even if I don't understand, I really care about them and their pain. So many of us really just want to be Heard with a capital H. We want to know someone really does care about what we are saying and what we are dealing with at that moment. We need that intimacy. It has been an amazing blessing. I think it is often the Holy Spirit speaking through me in those quiet moments. I don't know for sure but I can tell you the words just sort of come forth.
There is a dark side to this gift. I also have the ability to use words as a sword that can cut to the heart. My words can come fast and furious pummelling whomever they are directed. It is a defense mechanism and an extremely ugly, hateful one. It is probably the trait I dislike the most about myself.
It is interesting this gift can be a blessing or a curse depending on how I choose to use it.
Today I was praying and I decided to make a conscious effort to get back on the path of love I chose to follow. Here is my Facebook post:
Today I pray that all of my communications, whether with my precious babies or complete strangers, will be filled with love, grace, kindness, and compassion. So often I have a quick, witty, and biting retort locked, loaded, and ready to go. I pray to change that habit and replace my bitter ammunition with words that encourage, fill others with hope, and shows the love of Christ that shines through me.
I am sure you can see where this is going. I went to the gym, there was a dust up, someone was nasty, and I shoved words right down her throat. I marched to my car in (self) righteous indignation. As I drove away, the light dawned on my, and my spirit curled up within me and hid its proverbial head.
Ack!! It is just humiliating and humbling. Just not a fun thing to deal with. I will apologize when I see her. But you can't take words back. She will bear a small scar of where I plunged in an ever sharp, ever waiting, ever eager verbal knife. It doesn't matter nearly as much how people treat us or speak to us, it is how we respond to them that defines us. I am not advocating becoming a door mat, not at all. But I truly believe we can comport ourselves with grace, compassion, mercy, and love even when someone verbally attacks us. That is what I am aspiring to do.
So I failed. But that is okay. It really is because I can learn from this. I can allow this situation to better refine me for the future, smooth out more and ever present rough edges. Hopefully, it will teach me to be more graceful in the future. Hopefully, it will teach me more about love.
That is what I have going on today. I am exploring the new found fact that I, apparently, have a foot shaped mouth.