She called me today, heartbroken. Words had been spoken – cruel ones. The kind that leave a wound, then a bruise, and then a scar that remains to maliciously remind.These words had wounded a loved one, and I was overcome with conviction and repentance when she shared her deepest ache through sobs of pain at the effect of the soul-crushing comments.
You might be thinking that she is the grieving recipient. She isn’t. She is the grieving deliverer. Her cries were so gut-deep that I could barely understand her.
“Oh Melissa, I hurt the one I love so badly. How do I fix this?”
My heart aches for her. And for the one she loves. And for me. Because I have been that person. I am that person. While there is a population out there that would boldly proclaim that I have spoken encouraging words over them, there is yet another population (hopefully much smaller) that can describe the painful marks left on their hearts by my ruthless words. And usually to the ones I love the most. I don’t even like to think about it.
Even with the most sincere of apologies offered, and even with the truest of repentant hearts, the memory lingers in the heart of the wounded. The scar is left to remind, and from that point forward it becomes a battle within that the wounded must fight when someone or something unknowingly opens that scar.
We write on the slate of one another. We can trample a heart with
He entrusts us with words. His words. Words to edify, exhort, and encourage one another. Words to build up, inspire, and to humbly lead. Words to offer hope, comfort, and words to heal. Words to proclaim the Truth of His love, mercy, and grace. Yet with the same mouth that we share His words, we shoot sharp darts that can brutally pierce the heart of another.
SometimesToo many times, I wish I could speak in pencil. That eraser would be so handy. As the magical word-remover leaves its evidence of black flecks where punishing words once were, we could point to the dust and show the unlucky recipient the proof that the word was no longer there.
“See, look, I didn’t mean it. It’s gone! We can just forget this ever happened…”
If only. Unfortunately, indelible ink doesn’t have a handy little eraser.
I have some good news, though.
As powerful as our words may be, they are powerless in the presence of the God of the Redeemed…the God of healing and restoration. No wound is too deep for Him to touch.
For our harsh words, there is grace and forgiveness to cover our sins. Period. Done.
And for the wounded — with faith, prayer, time, and forgiveness, God can heal a wounded heart. He has healed mine, and He has healed the hearts of those whom I have wounded with my words.
May we be reminded today, to pray His words:
May the words of my mouth and this meditation
of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord,
my Rock and my Redeemer.