I pride myself on being toughed skinned. I would like to think that I can take verbal barbs and spears aimed my away and throw them in the rubbish bin of life with ease. I know that life is full of rough spots and unfair accusations. I understand that others may not appreciate the challenges in front of me, or how I respond to them. I see the ways that my motives may not always translate into actions.
The simple comment that says it all is that at times words hurt, really, deeply, and painfully hurt. When you receive them personally you begin to understand just how important the sounds out of one’s mouth art, yet that rarely comforts someone trying to deal with the immediate. As one begins to digest their meaning or even lack of, it is clear that there is one statement of fact and one question that remains.
“Mean people spread mean gossip; their words smart and burn.” (Proverbs 16.27)
There is others way to describe the fact yet they all come back to the same equations. Those who respond to the god of self are mean and the outcome of their actions are always mean. When the actions come out as words they cause pain.
The story never ends here.
The question is what I will do now that I am hurting? What is my response going to be to the person delivering the poison or to the others who happen to be near me when I am hurt? No matter how vicious, intense, or caustic the action taken against me might be the question remains; how will I respond?
God is a favorite accusation target. Believers and non-believers hold him accountable for the very things that he stands in opposition to. His name is hurdled back at him in jest and derision because people are hurting.
His response is the answer I want to hold onto and use; unconditional acceptance just where one is at, mercy, love, comfort, and restoration. Each word and action a description and prescription; healing.