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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Touch That Never Hurts

"Have a heart that never hardens,
a temper that never tires,
a touch that never hurts."
~ Charles Dickens

A Touch That Never Hurts


"How shall I curse whom God has not cursed?
And how shall I denounce whom the LORD has not denounced?"
~ Numbers 23:8 (NKJV)

Death and life are in the power of the tongue.
~ Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV)

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
~ Romans 12:18 (NKJV)

As soon as I pick up my car keys, I am sure to immediately hear the running footsteps of my eight-year-old Abigail. However much household noise rules or far away she is, that distinctive sound is a magnet for her to hasten to my side and determine where I'm going, how long I'll be gone, and give me at least one 'I love you' kiss good-bye.

She likely got this from me. I do whatever possible to make sure every good-bye and its 'I love you' carries full weight. I most easily lay down pride when it comes time to part company. I am adamant for pleasant farewells, and I sorrow over every disagreeable one.

I do not obsess about death. But between the numerous death aftermaths I've been closely involved with, and my husband's occupation as a police officer—assigned to death investigations—I am acutely aware of how tentative life is. One never knows which words we speak may be the last between us and a loved one.

Another thing of which I'm acutely aware is how inclined my intensity is to take a hard stance, flash a quick temper, use a sharp touch with my tongue. The internet is a place of words offered at keyboard speed, where it is easier to measure each transmission, and double-click the trash can icon on regrets. You who know me only electronically see (as one critic called it) "the kinder and gentler Anne." I try ever so hard to be just as gracious in speech and electronic chats, but am sometimes not. Nearly all of my deepest regrets are of my words.

Is there anyone you've touched with words who has been hurt by them?

With eternity daily in the balance, is there any valid reason to not live peaceably?

Prince of Peace, You've given Your life and blood that we might know peace. I pray that every person who reads these words would know Your peace, and pass it on to as many people as possible, in as many ways possible.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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  1. Such a wise word spoken here, filled with much truth. Thank you my friend. I love you.

  2. Anne, Thank you for your honesty! As a pastor, it is really a challenge to live an exemplary life for God knowing we are like fish in a bowl, open for all to see.

  3. Of course, we should all want to live peaceably. The problem is that humans come with a big bag of emotions that often get in the way of that. That's why we need God's help.

  4. The kinder and gentler Anne? Well, I know you are a feisty one, and I like that!
    So admirable of you to look squarely in the mirror and ask this question - even online. The answer here is "no." You are more encouraging than anything else, and when you make an opinion you are quick to couch it in kindness.
    God keep blessing you!

  5. "Oh to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!
    Let that grace now like a fetter bind my wandering heart to thee.
    Prone to wander, Lord I feel it
    Prone to leave the God I love!
    Here's my heart oh, take and seal it
    Seal it for Thy courts above." favorite verse of one of my favorite hymns.

    Yes, dear Anne...I have regrettably said regretful words and cause regretful hurt (did I mention regret?). I have agonized over them, asked for forgiveness from God and the person I've hurt. I've been reading lately in the New Testament how we are to hate no one. I can honestly say that, whatever may come between me and another, by the power of the Holy Spirit and the love of Jesus (and not my own power) I hate no one. There are some with whom I disagree, or have past issues. But none I hate.

    Father God, give me a tongue that heals and not hurts. I pray this often.

    May God bless you richly today, dear Anne.

  6. Oh yes, words that stain. I have left a few too many marks around. With much regret I know that even with forgiveness and sorrow, their etching stains are there for an eternity. I too pray often for wise and tender words.


  7. My words get me in trouble. My husband can attest to this. For some reason I can be most cutting toward him. I love that he is a man who understands the value of forgiveness.

    ~ Wendy

  8. Words are powerful because they hold relationships together. Healthy relationships and unhealthy relationships, too. Jesus, the Word made flesh, enables the most important relationship of all. Thanks Anne, today I will meditate on the importance of our 'words.'

  9. Denise, so glad you're here. Hope you're feeling God's peace in your body today. I love you, too!

    Bible Lover, I appreciate your empathy. I strive to be transparent without wallowing in the muck.

    Elizabeth, I'm smiling at your "of course." As I think on it, it occurs to me that like praying for patience without thought of how God teaches it, we say we want to live peacably without counting what it will cost us. "We need God's help." You are SO right! Impossible without it!

    Brad, perhaps the areas of our lives where we've sinned most grieviously are the areas we work hardest to counter—the areas where we ask God for most grace. Thank you for blessing "feisty." :D

    Gwen, that's one of my favorites also! I sing it often to myself and in prayer. May the Lord bless you also, dear Gwen, richly and peacefully.

    Denise, while we can't erase the touch of words which may have hurt, I have hope we may at least cover them with abundant, healing words of blessing. I pray for the passion which can get one in trouble to become the passionate patience which seems like an oxymoron, but is possible with God and gives Him glory.

    Wendy, I was just thinking last night about the fact that with those we most love, we have the ability to most hurt each other without thinking. Your husband's wisdom in forgiveness is the approach we all need: don't pull back from the person and diminish love, but forgive and thereby increase love.

    Russell, you just threw me a curve. I hadn't thought about how words can sustain unhealthy relationships. With sufficient maturity, can any two people know how to make the relationship healthy? You'll have me meditating on this one...

  10. Yep. I have a temper, too, and though I very rarely lose it, when I do, it is dramatic. I always regret speaking in anger at those times.

    Thanks for the encouragement to peacemaking this morning!

  11. Perhaps 'you are what you speak' is just as relevant as 'you are what you eat'. Bitter words are much more difficult to digest.

  12. Rosslyn, is it then true that dynamite comes in small packages? Thanks for taking this post as encouragement.

    T. Anne, I believe "life and death are in the power of the tongue" refers as much to what we put in our mouths as what comes out. And I agree that bitter words—as well as other ill words—prove difficult on the stomach.


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