Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Hidden Killer

"The tongue can bring death or life..." Proverbs 18:21

After discovering her body and trying to grasp the 'why's', a suicide note was found. Two words. "They said..."

The power of life and death truly is in the tongue.

Words alone are weightless, yet they can crush or empower. Build up or tear down. Encourage or devour.

Our words can be weapons of mass destruction, but are we even aware of the devastating and debilitating effect they can have on an often already wounded soul? On their own they are neutral. It's the coupling with our heart that fuels them for good or evil. Recently this truth embedded itself on my heart as I heard the following illustration.

Imagine with me for a moment a precious woman rises one morning and dresses in clothing made entirely from sticky notes. Before she even leaves her bedroom she is criticized and the first yellow square falls to the floor. As the day continues words that shame, ridicule, question her worth, make her feel inadequate, insignificant, guilty, unloved, and homely are inscribed over her life and more of her outfit crumbles away, mirroring the broken fragments of her heart as it slowly disintegrates. Some who see the clothing malfunction, try to re-attach the squares with positive feedback and encouraging words but the notes won't stick. The damage has been done. By the close of the day, she finds herself sitting at home, feeling insecure and completely exposed.

It is a terrible thing to be part of any relationship that highlights the negative and the mistakes. When criticism and correction continue, a life is characterized by unending, recurrent pain and insecurity. When faults and failures are all that are noticed, eventually one simply stops trying. What's the use? The effort takes too much energy. The results always the same.

She feels the effect so greatly, it's as if permanent marker has ruined her wardrobe. She looks in the mirror before going to bed at night, despondent, receiving and believing the lies. Crawling into bed she curls up inside the pain. The tongue does kill. She's buried alive in a pile of words.

In the silence a Hand reaches down. He sees. He knows. His love is unconditional. She is treasured and loved. Brushing off the syllables that left her slain, He dresses her in robes of righteousness. Broken, she falls into arms of love.

post signature