Our words have giving power.
Always, they give…either blessing or cursing…long after we’ve said them they live on.
The other day I saw a post on facebook on a popular home and garden page. A women had written in asking the community what ‘style’ her home was, she included a photo of her darling ranch cottage. I assume she was in the process of adding curb appeal and wanted input about what direction she might go…I was excited to tell her how much I love the color and that she had a perfect canvas for most any style. But as I typed the first word my eye drifted to the comment before mine.
“Just tear it down…” came the vicious insult. What?
Stunned and horrified I scrolled through a few more of the comments.
“The garage needs to be taken down” ,”Consider moving”, It’s a “garage with a cottage”, “I hate garages that overpower”…
Vicious, insulting words next to little profile pictures of smiling beautiful women.
What exactly was the intent of the women who threw insults? Did they just want to make someone feel ‘less-than’?
My heart broke for the young woman who sent in a photo of her home. She was simply asking for input about the style. These comments must have bruised. Maybe even made her feel bad about her home, the place she lived and laughed and might be raising children.
It’s not uncommon in online communities for smiling people hugging their pups or kissing their baby to throw rocks at others. It’s easy to throw rocks when you’re not face to face, but I wonder…are those snarky, cynical, sarcastic words online just a reflection of what we’re thinking all the time, because if it’s there in our hearts and in our head…it will come out of our mouths at some point. But why would someone want to bring turmoil and not peace to a situation?
If I ask this of others, I first must ask it of myself…
Why does knee-jerk cynicism run strong through me some days?
Why do I sometimes throw careless words wrapped in harsh tones at those I love?
What exactly is my intended outcome, to make someone feel less-than, to put them on the defense, to infuse a bit of chaos into a situation?
Maybe I forget the profound power that my words have. Because my friends, if I think through the choices, bringing peace and life into a moment or to bringing turmoil and hurt, with my whole heart, I want to choose peace.
(I wrote this last week right after I read that interaction on Facebook, since then, a song has haunted me day and night, it’s actually a prayer of Saint Frances made into a song. I think it’s God’s way of giving me the words to pray…
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.
This is my prayer sweet friends~sending you so-much love today